The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), a Special Operating Agency (SOA) associated with Industry Canada, is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada. CIPO's areas of activity include:

•Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention;

•A trade-mark is a word (or words), a design, or a combination of these, used to identify the goods or services of one person or organization and to distinguish these goods or services from those of others in the marketplace.

•Copyright provide protection for artistic, dramatic, musical or literary works (including computer programs), and three other subject-matter known as: performance, sound recording and communication signal;

•Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features), applied to a finished article of manufacture;

•Integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.

All sorts of people have a stake in intellectual property — business people, inventors, artists, designers, electronic microchip manufacturers, plant breeders and others. Whatever your particular interest, you'll find the type of intellectual property that applies to you on CIPO's website.

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