CIPO releases its 2020−2021 Annual Report

News release

Gatineau, Canadian Intellectual Property Office

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office's 2020−2021 Annual Report was tabled in Parliament on June, 17, 2022.

Despite its challenges, 2020−2021 was a year of great opportunity and creativity. This annual report shines a light on the achievements of the last fiscal year.


"When I reflect on what CIPO accomplished in 2020−2021, I am struck by the resiliency and adaptability of CIPO's employees and grateful for the deep collaboration with partners. In a matter of a few months, we achieved transformations that would have normally taken much longer. Looking ahead, we are laying the groundwork for the CIPO of the future, a modern office that is an integral part of the IP ecosystem, digitally enabled and continues to foster innovation and success for Canadians."

Konstantinos Georgaras, Chief Executive Officer (interim)

Quick facts

  • CIPO faced the pandemic and its challenges by being agile and continuing to focus on its core mandate of delivering quality and timely Intellectual Property (IP) products and services.

  • CIPO addressed the challenges at hand by taking many immediate steps and adopting innovative approaches, such as implementing the designated days provision, which suspended most deadlines so clients could maintain their IP rights during this unprecedented economic disruption.

  • To continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of CIPO's services moved to virtual platforms. For example, CIPO pivoted its IP awareness and education content to digital service delivery and its trademarks opposition hearings were conducted entirely by videoconference and teleconference.

  • Almost overnight, CIPO went from receiving mainly paper correspondence to receiving over 90% of correspondence in electronic form.

  • CIPO has continued to modernize Canada's IP system, notably through regulatory changes, and helped establish the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents.

  • While the number of patent applications was down slightly in 2020−2021 (-2%), CIPO saw an increase in the number of trademark applications (+11%), industrial design applications (+10%) and copyright applications (+43%).

  • Since Canada acceded to the Patent Law Treaty in October 2019, to the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty and the Nice Agreement for trademarks in July 2019 and to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs in November 2018, there has been a significant uptake of these international IP provisions by domestic and foreign applicants.

  • In 2020−2021, Canada was designated in 21,825 international trademark applications filed through the Madrid System and ranked 5th in overall designations with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

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