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Research Guides

ESC101: Praxis I

What are standards?

Standards are documents that describe the important features of a product, service or system. For example, CSA Standard Z262.34-00 Ice Hockey Pucks specifies a hockey puck's material, size, mass, hardness at room temperature and test methods.

Find standards

The Engineering & Computer Science Library has two excellent collections of online standards:

What are Codes?

Codes are collections of laws and rules which provide correct procedures to maintain uniformity and safety. For example, some important codes are the Ontario Building Code and the National Model Construction Codes.

Find Codes and Legislation/Laws

Since codes are collections of laws, you need to determine if it would be a federal, provincial, or municipal body who would be interested in that topic.

Most laws are available online; for example the Ontario Building Code is available on the Government of Ontario's E-laws Website. However, standards-writing organizations such as CSA (Canadian Standards Association) publish other Canadian construction codes and standards, such as the Canadian Electrical Code.  These codes may only be available through the organization that created the standard (the "law" would be that that is the standard that you have to use). 


A patent is protection granted by a national government for an invention. This protection excludes others from making, using or selling an invention for a period of up to 20 years. Many drug companies and university researchers seek patent protection to recover research and development costs for patents related to specific genes and proteins, laboratory techniques and drugs. In order for patents to be issued by a granting agency such as a Patent Office they need to be new, useful and not obvious to others working in the same field.
For a more detailed description of patent law in Canada refer to the Canadian Patent Act.
Use the databases below to search for patents.