Canadian Intellectual Property Office: The Canadian Intellectual Property Office(CIPO) is the focal point for Canada's intellectual property system. As a Special Operating Agency, CIPO's daily operations are independent from Industry Canada and self-financing. As its 1997 Annual Report explains, CIPO "confers ownership and recognition of intellectual property rights in exchange for public disclosure of the ideas and processes behind that property." In addition, CIPO makes that information available to the public so that individuals and companies can avoid the duplication of efforts and be aware of possible intellectual property infringements. In performing this role, CIPO provides a wide range of products and services to the intellectual property community and the general public. It also supports the federal government's domestic and international interests in regulating intellectual property. CIPO's contribution to Canada's economic prosperity and growth is accomplished through the management of five product lines: patents, trade-marks, copyrights, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.
The protection of intellectual property encourages and rewards new ideas and original creations. Without such protection, it is argued, much of the work carried out by individuals or companies would be stifled as a result of the lack of financial incentive. Two late nineteenth century international treaties set the ground work for establishing and protecting intellectual property: the 1883 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (deals largely with patents and trade-marks) and the 1886 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (deals mainly with copyright). Various treaties and amendments have since sharpened and focused the role and extent of protecting intellectual property in international and domestic markets. More recently, the 1992 North-American Free Trade Agreement and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of 1994 have reinforced the standards and rights for retaining intellectual property at the international level. International treaties allow for Canadian rights to be protected and not discriminated against in foreign countries, with Canada, in turn, protecting the intellectual property of foreigners who register in Canada through CIPO.
In 1869, Patents, Trade Marks, and Industrial Design offices were established and attached to the Department of Agriculture (SC 1869, c.11; SC 1869, c.55; SC 1869, c.55; PC 521, 2 July 1869). Jurisdiction over Patents, Trade Marks, Copyright, Industrial Design, and Timber Marks was assumed by the Department of Trade and Commerce in 1918 (PC 1347, 3 June 1918; PC 1349, 3 June 1918; PC 1478, 17 June 1918). In 1927, Patents, Trade Marks, Copyright, Industrial Design, and Timber Marks were transferred to the Department of the Secretary of State (PC 2281, 29 November 1927; PC 2337, 10 December 1927 and House of Commons, 27 January 1928). For a brief period in 1966, the Office of the Registrar General existed as a separate government department and was responsible for Patents, Trade Marks, Copyright, Industrial Design, and Timber Marks. In 1967, the Office of the Registrar General was transferred to the new Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (SC 1967, s.16). A Bureau of Intellectual Property was established within the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs in 1973 in order to "provide a co-ordinated approach to the Department's responsibilities for patents, copyrights, trade marks and industrial design." In 1992, Canadian Intellectual Property Office became a Special Operating Agency within the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (CCA), with CCA redesignated as Industry Canada in 1994. The Chief Executive Officer of CIPO reports to the Minister of Industry through the Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations Sector of Industry Canada. RDA 2000/017 Department of Industry Canadian Intellectual Property Office - Trade-marks Office and Copyright and Industrial Design Branch (appraisal report)
RDA 97/002 Department of Industry Canadian Patenting Functions within the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (appraisal report)