Startups: Four funding opportunities to protect your inventions

May 18th, 2017

Our patent agent François Sawyer, reviews the different programs available to startups.

Your intellectual property (IP) is the product of your imagination, and therefore, you own it. Like any other goods, your creations are property and, although they may not be tangible, they should be protected.

Various levels of government offer financial assistance programs that can cover many of the costs associated with protecting and acquiring intellectual property rights.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a federal entity, offers loans to small businesses, which can be used, amongst other things, to protect your IP, specifically by covering the costs of patent or trademark applications. The BDC offers specific financing for startups, as well as the “Xpansion Loan,” which is available to growing companies.

The Québec government’s First Patent program will, subject to certain conditions, give your company the opportunity to obtain a grant to pay up to 50% of the expenses inherent in filing and pursuing a patent application, up to a maximum of $25,000.

Moreover, Québec’s Ministry of Education and Higher Learning offers the Programme d’aide à la recherche et au transfert (PART) – Volet innovation technologique, which is designed to support Cégeps and subsidized private colleges in their applied research projects. We should mention here that the costs of obtaining a patent are not eligible for this program, but it would be wise for any research scientist who has received assistance under this program for their applied research project to protect any resulting innovations.

Finally, Fondation Montréal Inc. offers grants to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 living on the Island of Montreal who come up with innovative, job-creating projects. If your project involves information technology, multimedia, video games, or the environment, this grant could help you cover the costs inherent in protecting your IP.

To learn more about the various strategies for protecting your intellectual property and obtaining funding, contact our team of specialists who can help and guide you along the way.