Federal Patents, Licences and Royalties Survey (FPLR)

Detailed information for 2021/2022





Record number:


This survey collects data that are essential to ensure the availability of pertinent statistical information to monitor federal patent, royalty and licensing related activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy.

Data release - June 9, 2023


Results from this survey will assist in the formulation of key intellectual property (IP) indicators for the federal government. The data collected will be used by federal science policy analysts.


  • Innovation
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The survey targets federal scientific departments and agencies that manage and commercialize patents, copyrights, royalties and other IP instruments. It also collects information on number of new instances of IP, as well as the nature of income received from IP commercialization.

Instrument design

The questionnaire is designed to cover federal government IP related activities such as patents. The content was created in consultation with Industry Canada, the main user, and was derived from the former Federal Intellectual Property Management survey.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The total sample size for this survey is 14 federal government science based departments and agencies. The sample was drawn by the client who selected the known lead departments and agencies active in intellectual property activities.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2022-11-28 to 2023-01-13

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

This is a mail-out /mail-back survey to all federal government departments and agencies believed to be engaged in patent, royalty and licensing related activities. All non-responding units were followed up by telephone.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Each survey response is manually edited at the micro level.

The edit procedures usually consist of:

- checking each field of every record to ascertain whether it contains a valid code or entry;
- checking codes or entries in certain predetermined combinations of fields to ascertain whether codes or entries are consistent with one another. Although there are a number of edits, all cases of failed edit checks are corrected after consideration by editors.


This methodology does not apply.


Survey weighting was not conducted to represent the survey population as the client was only interested in obtaining information on the main IP performers.

Quality evaluation

This survey contains four of the questions from the former Statistics Canada survey: Federal Intellectual Property Management. Data are edited and analysed to ensure internal and historical logic and consistency for quality assurance. Activities are not based on standard accounts or classifications and inputs, but on administrative data from the respondent. Every effort is made to ensure the quality of the data by conducting consultations with major departments, financial offices and/or science offices via meetings or telephone to verify or improve the quality of data received.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

This survey is a sample of the top federal science based departments and agencies, in terms of intellectual property management of patents, licences and royalties.

The response rate was 100%.

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