Tanner, How Do I… Download a Canadian Patent?

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Tanner, How Do I…  is a blogging series in which Steven Tanner provides helpful answers to IP law questions.

You want to download a Canadian patent.  Is this possible?  Yes!  And here’s how.

There are three good ways to download a Canadian patent.

1. My Preferred Way to Download a Canadian Patent

My preferred way to download a Canadian patent is by using the patent retriever tool at ippractice.ca. Be sure to type “CA” before the seven-digit Canadian patent number and you should be fine. The website will send a full length pdf of the patent to your inbox, usually in seconds.

Make note of the option to “check this box to skip the cache” which is located below the text box. I have run into problems where I had previously downloaded a patent application that had subsequently been issued as a patent. I could only receive the application because it was stored in the cache. By checking this box the website conducts a fresh retrieval of the patent.

While you’re at ippractice.ca I suggest you look around.  It is a useful resource on intellectual property matters in Canada.

2. Downloading Directly from the CIPO Website

Another way to download a Canadian patent is to do so directly from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) website. CIPO’s site allows you to download portions of patents if you know the patent number . If you don’t know the number, or are searching for patents with specified subject matter, you can try the advanced search function.

A drawback of CIPO’s site is that full pdfs of patents are not available. Rather, you need to download the individual components of the patent and then combine them together yourself to create the whole.

3. Espacenet

Another popular website to download both Canadian patents and patents from other jurisdictions is Espacenet.


Competition may be on the horizon. Google has a website dedicated to patent searches. Presently, its search functionality does not extend to Canadian patents, but if that changes it may quickly become a go-to choice.

Got a question?  Drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll try to make it the subject of a future “Tanner, How Do I…”

Next up: Tanner, How Do I…  Find a Patent Agent?

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