Wednesday, August 23, 2023

CIPO Fees to Increase by 25% in 2024 and Expansion of the Definition of “Small Entity”

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has announced that effective January 1, 2024, most official fees will be increasing by 25%. On the patent side, the increase in the fees will be applicable to standard entity size. At the same time, the definition of “small entity” in the Patent Rules will be broadened from the current 50 employees to fewer than 100 employees, which would mean that more companies can fall into the small entity category and thus utilize the lower official fees. Canada remains an important jurisdiction in North America for IP filings and is further reinforced by rapid population growth, surpassing the 40 million mark in 2023. The above changes are detailed below with some recommendations for saving on official fees.

Significant CIPO Fee Increase

Effective January 1, 2024, a one-time 25% fee increase will be implemented, impacting most patent, industrial design, trademark and copyright fees. With respect to patent matters, this increase will not apply to businesses qualifying as a “small entity” under the Patent Rules. Thus, small entity patent applicants will only experience CIPO’s regular annual fee increase in 2024.

Below are a few examples of changes in CIPO’s fees (rounded up):




CIPO 2023 Fees (in CAD)

CIPO 2024 Fees (in CAD)

Filing a patent application

  • Small entity fee
  • Standard fee







Filing an Examination request

  • Small entity fee
  • Standard fee






CIPO 2023 Fees (in CAD)

CIPO 2024 Fees (in CAD)

  • Filing a trademark application in one class of goods or services

A complete listing of fee increases relating to patents, industrial designs, trademarks, copyrights, and other fees can be found on CIPO’s website here.

Expansion of the definition of “Small Entity” under the Patent Rules

Another important change is the broadening of the definition of “small entity” in the Patent Rules. This change is important because entities that meet the definition of small entity and who submit a small entity declaration are entitled to a 50% reduction of some CIPO patent-related fees.

Currently, a “small entity” is defined as a university or an entity that employs 50 or fewer employees at the time the patent application was filed or at the national phrase entry date for an international PCT application, but does not include:

(a) an entity that is controlled directly or indirectly by an entity, other than a university, that has more than 50 employees, or

(b) an entity that has transferred or licensed, or has an obligation other than a contingent obligation to transfer or license, any right or interest in a claimed invention to an entity, other than a university, that has more than 50 employees

The definition of “small entity” will be amended effective January 1, 2024, to increase the maximum number of employees from 50 employees to fewer than 100 employees. Thus, more companies will be able to qualify for the small entity category and, as a result, utilize the lower small entity fees. Please note that small entity status is determined at the time of filing (or at the national phrase entry date) and is only determined once.

This amendment does not entitle newly qualifying small entities to a partial refund of fees paid before January 1, 2024. The amendment is, however, allowing applicants who had more than 50 employees but less than 100 employees at the time of filing (or at the national phrase entry date) to start paying future fees at the small entity rate after January 1, 2024, provided all other small entity conditions were met when the patent was filed, and a small entity declaration is submitted.


1. As a result of these changes, individuals and businesses are encouraged to review their IP portfolios with their IP professional for possible new filings, examination requests and renewal/maintenance fees that can be done before January 1, 2024, to take advantage of the lower 2023 rates before the 25% increase takes effect.

2. Additionally, applicants should also review with their IP professional whether they will qualify as of January 1, 2024, for the expanded small entity status.

For more information, please contact:
Randy Marusyk, Co-Managing Partner
T: 613.801.1088

This article is general information only and is not to be taken as legal or professional advice. This article does not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and MBM Intellectual Property Law LLP. If you would like more information about intellectual property, please feel free to reach out to MBM for a free consultation.


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