Intellectual Property 101

October 15, 2021

As a founder, it’s crucial that you understand and capitalize on the value of your product or service. Intellectual Property (IP) is an intangible asset that identifies and protects your business, separates you from the herd, and allows you to enter and control a share of the market. 

This 5-part series is an introduction to IP. ventureLAB’s experts cover everything you need to know before you file for IP protection, including:

  • Identifying your business’ IP
  • Why to protect your IP
  • How to apply for IP protection
  • Filing for international patent protection
  • What not to do before you patent


  1. Part 1: Protecting the Right IP
    This is the first step in creating your IP portfolio. This article will guide you in selecting what products may need protecting, and what type of IP is best suited to protect those products. This includes prioritizing which IP you can afford to protect and which you can’t afford not to protect.
  2. Part 2: I Got My IP Right, Now What?
    Once you’ve determined what type(s) of IP you want to protect, you need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Pursuing IP protection can be costly, so you want to have an IP strategy in place before embarking on your IP journey. You’ll need to consider the commercial, investment, collaboration and transferrable opportunities that may come with IP protection.
  3. Part 3: Filing for a Patent or Trademark: What Can I Expect?
    The process of obtaining patent or trademark protection can be confusing and lengthy. Here we break down the process for filing in Canada. This article highlights the timelines from the pre-fiing stage to the granting of your patent or trademark.
  4. Part 4: Filing for a Patent in Canada and Beyond
    Patent protection is jurisdictional, meaning that being granted a patent in Canada will not protect your invention in other countries. Fortunately, the patent system is cooperative, meaning once you’ve gotten the ball rolling in one country it is relatively easy to apply for patents in other countries. Here we discuss the US provisional patent and the PCT (international) patent application.
  5. Part 5: Why Can’t I Talk About It, It’s My Invention?
    A patent provides protection for new inventions, the key word being new. The new (novelty) requirement for patent protection means that the details of your invention cannot be available anywhere else in the world. As a result, this means until you file your patent application you need to be very careful about the information you share with others. This article covers what you should and should not do before filing for a patent.

ventureLAB can help you navigate your IP strategy. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,000 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. Join us. 

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