Clerical Errors in the Patent Office

15 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2011

See all articles by David Vaver

David Vaver

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: July 4, 2011


This paper discusses how clerical errors made in documents relating to patents should be dealt with. It takes as its cue a recent case that overturned the Canadian Patent Office’s refusal to correct an error – a patent agent’s supply of the wrong serial number of a patent when remitting maintenance fees – that resulted in the patent automatically lapsing. Patent offices these days claim to be “client-centric” but their behaviour often belies their puffery. The paper looks broadly at the concept of clerical error, and compares how a client-centric organization might deal with such mistakes in paperwork with the Office’s actual conduct. It concludes that the Canadian patent office has much to do if its assertion of customer service is to match reality.

Keywords: clerical errors, patent office, Canadian Patent Office, wrong serial number, client-centric patent offices, client-centric organization of patent, Canadian Patent Office Conduct, customer service patent

JEL Classification: O34, K11, K39

Suggested Citation

Vaver, David, Clerical Errors in the Patent Office (July 4, 2011). Intellectual Property Law Journal, Vol. 23, 2011, Available at SSRN:

David Vaver (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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