Navigating the 2024 landscape of IP support programs in Canada

Bereskin & Parr is a Canadian intellectual property law firm that specializes in intellectual property law across twenty-six industry practice areas. They have provided an Intellectual Property (IP) Funding Map that covers three IP support programs: IP Assist (IRAP), ElevateIP, and IPON.

A chart comparing the support, coverage, and eligibility of three funding programs: IP Assist (IRAP), ElevateIP, and IPON.
For an accessible, plain-text version of this chart, refer to Intellectual Property Funding Map (Accessible).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I apply and obtain all three funding programs?
Yes, it is possible to obtain funding from all three programs, as long as you comply with the terms of each program.

2. What kind of IP-related activities does the funding cover?
The three funding programs can cover IP education and IP strategy, such as patent and trademark searches, and other IP strategy necessary to prepare your business for IP filings or IP partnering (e.g. agreements). ElevateIP* and IPON provide IP awareness and education activities. They can additionally cover IP implementation, such as drafting, filing, and prosecution of patent and trademark applications. The prosecution can include Office Action responses and payment of issues fees, but not maintenance fees. IPON not only provides funding for services but also comprehensive IP supports.

3. What amounts of funding and support are available?
The funding amounts are generally based on the clients’ IP needs. The maximum amounts available vary according to the program. For example, ElevateIP offers support of up to $100,000.

4. What kinds of deadlines and timelines are involved?
Applications are generally run on a “rolling basis.” Once approved for the program, it is necessary to prepare and have further approved a Statement of Work (SOW) which will set out the IP work to be done. In some cases, strict time periods will be set; the IP work must be completed during this time for the approved funding to be given.

5. Does my company have to make any financial contributions (i.e., co-pay)?
Yes, there is generally a co-pay requirement for the funding programs. Overall, the funding amount required by the client varies per program (for example, 10–35% at ElevateIP but only in Tier 3) and the value provided is well worth the investment.

6. I already have an IP lawyer; can I continue working with them and access these funding programs?
Yes, you may be able to continue to work with your current IP lawyer. Depending on the IP program, you would also have access to a roster of vetted experienced service providers. For ElevateIP and IPON, the startup’s service provider is not required to be part of the existing roster of professionals. For ElevateIP, if a startup is already working with a service provider not on the roster, the provider undergoes screening and an onboarding meeting. Once both parties sign the service agreement, the provider is added to the roster.

7. Are there other specialty organizations that provide support?
Yes. For example, Innovation Asset Collective (IAC), a member-based organization backed by the federal government, can provide IP assistance and funding to clean tech companies.

*NOTE: ElevateIP-related answers in this FAQ are specific to the ElevateIP program delivery in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Other provinces may have different processes, requirements, and co-payments.

For more information, contact Isi Caulder (Technology) and Noel Courage (Life Sciences).

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Check out Ontario’s IP Ecosystem Map! Our partners at IPON designed this tool to help guide Ontario innovators & researchers on their IP journey. It’s an interactive PDF with info on IP service providers across Ontario.