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IP management for innovative companies

Every Canadian technology company should join the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). They can help you grow your business through advice, connections, and funding for a robust IP management program. You will probably be interested in IP Assist. 

Take action now

If you are already a member of IRAP then talk to your Industry Technology Advisor about joining IP Assist at the appropriate level. 

If your company is Canadian, small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME), and plans to grow through innovation, then join IRAP.  We see no downside or burdensome administrative costs to this wonderful program.  Find the phone number below. 

If you aren’t a Canadian company do talk to us.  We have international clients who hired us to set up their IP programs.

Overview of IP Assist from NRC IRAP

IRAP helps SMEs set up and run IP programs. We recommend all Canadian technology companies consider the program which has three levels of engagement:

  1. Awareness — Learn about the types of IP and their applicability to your industry
  2. Strategy — Develop a plan to include IP in your business strategy and operations
  3. Action — Use the plan to improve your IP position and establish an IP strategy

PMP endorses this approach and offers a program that predates IP Assist. As the only patent agency in British Columbia with extensive and recent experience as IP managers and strategy developers, we support our clients in the following levels.

The three levels of the NRC IRAP’s IP Assist program.

Level 1: Awareness — IP Education

One of our experts will help you better understand IP rights and what is possible under the law.  You also get the right language to discuss IP rights.

It was very insightful to learn about the laws around IP. It was presented in a very engaging manner especially the examples that were provided.

Participant in 2023

We are proud that attendees find these sessions “wonderful”, “digestible”, “useful”, “inspiring” and “an absolute pleasure”.  So consider them for your leadership, technical and back office staff, and marketing team.  We tailor the sessions for your industry and needs.

How to get IP education

Our clients in B.C. have access to a grant for level 1 through one of two delivery partners SFU Venture Labs, an accelerator, and Innovate B.C., a provincial government agency. They act as matchmakers between your and experts. Also see their other programs which may be of interest to you.

More educational offerings

While not part of every IP Assist project we also deliver modules like:

  • Basic patent — Learn details of the patent system to improve your valuations. 
  • Advanced patent — Optimize your operations as you build a high value patent portfolio. 
  • Innovative thinking — Think innovation is just flashes of brilliance that hopefully visit you? We will share the TRIZ and other methods to systematically innovate. 
  • Copyright / Open-source — Understand how details of licensing underpin and threaten nearly every software company. Attendees learn some gotchas related to open-source free software. 
  • Trademark – How to use trademarks to protect your brand.

Level 2: IP Strategy

The return for your spend on an IP strategic plan is great.  IRAP can financially support your creation of an IP strategic plan.  If your organization is ready, they will help define a project whereby you develop an IP strategy with help of an advisor.  You pay for the service but get back the highest rebate possible under federal government rules – 75%.  In some cases you can get more through provincial funding.

PMP helps build and develop an IP strategy that supports your business goals. As the NRC explains this level helps you answer questions about your what are your assets and how to protect them, and what are your liabilities and how to reduce them.  It really a discussion about technology, vision, and priorities.

Details of our process

The main activities in setting up an IP program are shown. The PMP terms are grouped into the three levels of the NRC IRAP’s IP Assist program.

We split the second level of the IRAP program into four activities: review, search, plan, and fix. We audit your operations and technology to identify assets that need protection. We perform searches like the landscape to your company or a patentability search for a patent application. These are collectively called search. Based on discussions with you, we provide a plan for your IP program. If needed, we address any IP issues that arise or refer you to specialist solicitors.The main activities in setting up an IP program are shown. The PMP terms are above the arrow.  The three levels of the NRC IRAP’s IP Assist program are below.

How to get an IP strategy

There are two ways to get an IP plan founded by IRAP. Both start by talking to your ITA.

IRAP provides two funding methods: the flexible, older a la carte system and the newer prix fixe system with a fixed scope. Both provide you with an IP plan. Also know systems aren’t mutually exclusive — you can do one then then other. The old system is more expensive for you but allows for you to claim employee time and project overhead.  The rebates are 75% on advisor expenses and for your employees is 80%.  You pay PMP and then receive your rebate.  The prix fixe requires you pay an initial fee of $500 but doesn’t allow for employee time or overhead claims.  The scope of work is fixed but we weight the output based on your needs.  Choose based on your needs and preferences, knowing your ITA has the final say.

Level 3: Action 

If you have completed levels 1 and 2 then you have awareness and a plan. Organizations at this level take action based on the priorities in their IP strategy.  You have the option to involve IRAP to access further funding or you may just want to fund the program yourself.

What is funded at level 3

IRAP will fund all kinds of searches like a trademark clearance search, or a patentability search.  There is a possibility to fund analyses of IP related agreements (for example, confidentiality, employment or partnership agreements) or assessments of the technical or competitive landscape.  Many of our clients use this for patentability assessments.  You can even use the funding to extend your IP plan – for example, work on your out-licensing strategy development.

IP Assist does not cover: official fees (e.g. filing fees, examination fees, annuities), patent drafting or prosecution expenses; membership dues; subscriptions; or conference fees.

Involvement of Perpetual Motion Patents

We can help you with multiple aspects of level 3 or refer you to trademark agents or specialised solicitors.

Conclusion on fit for IP Assist 

Please note although we are affiliated with NRC this is just as a service provider and not as a partner. 

To join you must:

  • Be an incorporated, for-profit small- or medium-sized Canadian business
  • Have 500 or fewer FTE employees
  • Plan on growing through innovation


  1. Consider joining IRAP. Call 1-877-994-4727 
  2. Ask for Perpetual Motion Patents for IP education or IP plan development.
  3. If you have questions contact us.

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