SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Patent Files

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Patent Files

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

University/Industry Liaison Office:

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
University/Industry Liaison Office CY patent expires or is abandoned/rejected + 1 year 5 years CY patent expires or is abandoned/rejected + 6 years Full retention

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to the application for patents on behalf of SFU faculty, staff and students. When a University member's research results in a new invention or product (e.g., technology, software, or process), the University/Industry Liaison Office (UILO) may assist the researcher in applying for a patent. Applications for patents in Canada and other foreign jurisdictions also may be pursued. The University assists in the application process by providing funding, administrative support, and technical and market expertise.

Records include correspondence, legal opinions and reports, provisional patent applications, patent applications, copies of patents, memoranda, agreements, copies of invoices, and descriptions of inventions and technologies.

Files are organized alphabetically by either researcher name or corporate name.

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

Patents remain in-force for 20 years from the date of their filing in Canada and all other international jurisdictions. Once a patent expires, retaining its file in the UILO for "CY patent expires or is abandoned/rejected + 6 years" is sufficient to address residual reference and administrative use (e.g., answering questions regarding licensing arrangements or making comparisons with similar patents filed in other jurisdictions for the same technology or for the same researcher).

Retention and filing guidelines


Duplicate copies of records may exist in electronic form on a departmental shared drive and/or in a departmental database. Best practice dictates that these electronic duplicates are subject to the same total retention period as file "originals" (e.g., CY patent expires or is abandoned/rejected + 6 years).


The "original" patents with attached seals are typically stored separately from these files for safekeeping. Working copies of these originals are found on the files. Be sure to refile the original patents with these files at the expiration of the total retention period prescribed in this RRSDA and transfer the records to the University Archives.


At the end of the active retention period (CY patent expires or is abandoned/rejected + 6 years), box the files and transfer to the University Records Centre (URC). Prepare and retain a file list of records transferred. For each box prepare a box contents listing, itemizing all files. Always include ONE copy of the file list inside the box sent to the URC taped to the underside of the lid; keep ONE copy for your own records; and send ONE copy (paper or electronic) to the Archives (see Procedures for Transferring Records to the University Records Centre).


The status of the patents (along with other contracts and documents associated with a technology) and notes on correspondence with researchers regarding their patented technologies is tracked in a departmental database.


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 8 Jul 2010

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