A Canadian Intellectual Property Office Patent Report Indicates a Potential Advantage for the Canadian Space Sector

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Patents in Space report. Credit: COPI/NASA/Neptec.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) released the first comprehensive Patents in Space report last week that indicates that Canadian companies, particularly SME’s, could potentially have a technical advantage in the global space sector.

The 42 page report was a collaborative effort with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and according to CIPO is “complete literature review” that includes data from the CSA’s annual State of the Canadian Space Sector and patent searches. A preview of this report was published last year.

Breakdown of Patented Inventions by Data Set, 1996-2015
Breakdown of Patented Inventions by Data Set, 1996-2015. Credit: CIPO.

The report highlights “the importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) for innovation in the Canadian space sector. SMEs account for 83% of organizations with patented inventions and are responsible for 83% of all patented inventions in the sector. SMEs are also responsible for 30% of the revenue and 30% of the expenditures spent on research and development (R&D).”

It also states that “While patent activity for space technologies is not as prevalent as in other manufacturing or technology sectors, global patent filing in the space sector has consistently grown over the last 40 years and global revenues have increased by more than 70% in the last 10 years.”

CIPO Patents in Space Canada
Patented Inventions Over Time and Major International Events in the Space Sector. Credit: CIPO.

The report’s executive summary concludes by saying “overall, this report helps to describe the areas of activity and key fields of research found in the Canadian space sector. The information contained in this report can be used as a launching pad to pursue more in-depth research into targeted space technologies.”

The report is organized in four sections.

  • Patents and Innovation
  • Development of the Patent Search Strategy
  • The Space Industry: Economics and Innovation
  • Patenting in the Space Sector

The report is particularly useful for SME’s who currently don’t have a patent strategy. It provides an excellent view on what’s being done and why SME’s should take advantage of their intellectual property.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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