Protecting the Extraction Industry Through Protection of Intellectual Property

By Randy Marusyk, October 8th, 2014

Canada’s abounds with underground riches—the mining, quarrying, oil and gas sectors contributed $124.6 billion to Canada’s economy in 2012, but it faces big competition on the world stage. Staying relevant in the global market will be a key to Canada’s continued economic success. Canada can only stay relevant by continuing to innovate—we must establish ourselves as leaders in cutting edge mining innovation and technology.

The international agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a critical tool in the protection of Canada’s innovation—it’s intellectual property. Through the TRIPS agreement, Canadian inventors can file their patents worldwide, and receive extended periods of protection, dating back to their Canadian filing date. Filing for a patent early gives the innovator protection not only in Canada, but in all of the 160 countries that are party to the TRIPS agreement.

Canada’s Patent Act is the legal instrument that rewards the first person to file for a patent. Innovators may sometimes feel like an idea ‘just isn’t ready yet’, but that should not prevent inventors from filing for a patent. The Patent Act’s three requirements for patentable technology are as follows: 1. the technology must be new; 2. the technology must be useful; 3. the technology cannot be an obvious permutation of an existing technology. Inventions do not have to be sold or even marketed to qualify for patents. Early filing is key to protecting Canada’s innovation.

Of equal importance to seeking early patent protection for mining technology is whether one has freedom to operate a given technology in Canada and abroad. The existence of patents owned by others can block a party from operating until they obtain a license under the patent. Worldwide patent databases are powerful tools that can tell a company if they have freedom to operate in any particular technological area.

Databases provide much more than a list of patent titles and owners. With these databases, intellectual property lawyers can explore, monitor and map the patent space for any given field. Visual maps, such as the one shown below, can display the areas within a sector that are crowded, or becoming crowded with patents. Knowing where patents are encroaching can help an innovator keep the space around hers or his technology covered by their own patents. Databases can also tell innovators and corporations whether their operating space is already patented, and whether they may require licenses from third parties. Finally, these patent mapping tools can help innovators identify the competitors’ presence in any given technological area.

 Patent Density Map

Patent Density Map Showing Major Patents owned by Technology Resources Pty.

For more information about the benefit to your company on early filing and use of patent databases, contact Randy Marusyk, Managing Partner at MBM Intellectual Property Law at:

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T: 613.801.1088


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DR. Michael Maskery

Patent Agent

Michael's practice focuses on the patent drafting, prosecution and strategy in a variety of technology fields.MBM read_more_btn


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