Survey of Intellectual Property Awareness and Use (IPAU)

Detailed information for 2019




One Time

Record number:


This survey measures the general familiarity of owners and managers of enterprises across selected industries with intellectual property (IP). The purpose of collecting this information is to help evaluate impacts of Canadian Government programs to educate and raise awareness on the value of intellectual property.

Data release - Scheduled for fall 2020


This survey will provide statistically valid data on awareness and use of intellectual property. These data will be available by enterprise size (five size categories for all enterprises with employees), industry sector (15 sectors) and geography (Canada and four provinces or regions). The data provided will indicate the extent of awareness and use of intellectual property by demographic characteristics (such as gender and aboriginal status) of the business owner and/or senior executive managers.

These data will be used by the federal government to develop programs and policies to enhance awareness of intellectual property and to determine if particular demographics should be targeted for outreach.

These data could also be used by researchers, alone or added to other data files, to conduct research on the impact of the use of IP as a business strategy.

Reference period: Calendar year 2019; Period of 2017 to 2019

Collection period: Pre-contact: September 2019, Main survey: November 2019 to mid-February 2020


  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the Intellectual Property Awareness and Use survey is limited to enterprises within the following 15 sectors defined according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS, Statistics Canada, 2017):

- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (11)
- Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (21)
- Utilities (22)
- Construction (23)
- Manufacturing (31-33)
- Wholesale trade (41)
- Retail trade (44-45)
- Transportation and warehousing (48-49)
- Information and cultural industries (51)
- Finance and insurance (52)
- Real estate and rental and leasing (53)
- Professional, scientific and technical services (54)
- Management of companies and enterprises (55)
- Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (56)
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Instrument design

The IPAU uses an electronic questionnaire (EQ). The questionnaire was developed in collaboration with subject matter experts at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). EQs are the principal mode of collection, and these were tested with enterprise respondents in English and French to confirm respondents' understanding of terminology, concepts and definitions, as well as their ability to provide the requested data and to navigate the EQ applications. Questionnaire content testing occurred in March 2019 in English in Ottawa and Toronto and in French in Gatineau and Montreal. This testing concentrated on validating respondents understanding of concepts, questions, terminology, the appropriateness of response categories and the availability of requested information.


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

The sample size for the survey is around 11,700 enterprises that is selected from a target population of approximately 600,000 enterprises, with an expected response rate of 50% by stratum. The target standards errors (S.E.) for the calculation of proportions are defined as follows:

S.E. of 5.5% for NAICS2 (11;21;22;23;31-33;41;44-45;48;49;51;52 excl. 521;53;54;55;56) by Size
S.E. of 7.5% for NAICS2 (11;21;22;23;31-33;41;44-45;48;49;51;52 excl. 521;53;54;55;56) by Region

An independent sample within units from the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) population is selected at the national level. The sample is around 160 enterprises.

Another independent sample of approximately 160 units is selected among the population of "clean technology" enterprises.

Sampling unit

Stratification method
Industry groups: NAICS 11, 21, 22, 23, 31-33, 41, 44-45, 48-49, 51, 52 (excluding 521), 53, 54, 55 and 56

Size: 1 to 4 employees, 5 to 19 employees, 20 to 99 employees, 100 to 499 employees, 500 or more employees

Geography: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the rest of Canada

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2019-11-06 to 2020-02-21

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

The data will be collected through an electronic questionnaire (EQ), with non-response follow-up and failed edit follow-up for priority questions.

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

Error detection

Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Quality evaluation

Not applicable

Disclosure control

Not applicable

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Not applicable

Data accuracy

Not applicable

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