Government of Canada’s Intellectual Property Update welcomed, but requires direct input from Canadian tech sector

Ottawa, ON (May 1, 2018)The recent announcement of a comprehensive Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Minister Bains is a positive step forward, but requires consistent engagement with industry to create a modern, long-term vision that builds and attracts investment, innovation and prosperity in Canada – this according to the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).

“The time for Canada to take an updated modern approach to intellectual property is long overdue. We need government and industry to take an immediate and collaborative approach to develop a forward-looking national IP framework and strategy that recognizes and incorporates the rapid changes of technology, and unlocks economic prosperity,” said Robert Watson, president and CEO, ITAC.

Canada must consider ownership and retention of its IP as one of its core principles, to develop wealth and jobs that flow from our innovation, our intellectual property. As we increase our investments in innovation, modernize traditional sectors, invest in talent and diversity, and develop a more cyber secure digital economy, our IP policies need to be updated. IP is the currency of innovators, and will enable Canadian industry to create jobs and markets to retain our most talented youth, who will seek career opportunities with those companies that own the most valuable IP.

Ultimately, the development of an IP framework will contribute to a more comprehensive digital economy. ITAC looks forward to continuing its work with the Government of Canada to not only provide the industry perspective on IP, but also to address policy and legislative issues that hinder business’ ability to compete in the global market.

Government of Canada’s Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy

There are three key areas of the Government’s IP Strategy of interest to the Canadian tech sector: legislation, literacy and more general tools and advice.

  • Legislation: The IP Strategy will amend key IP laws to ensure barriers to innovation are removed, especially loopholes allowing those seeking to use IP in bad faith to stall innovation for their own gain. The IP Strategy will also create an independent body to oversee patent and trademark agents, which will ensure that professional and ethical standards are maintained, and will support the provision of quality advice from IP professionals.
  • Literacy: An interesting element of the IP Strategy will be the Canadian Intellectual Property Office initiating programs to help improve IP literacy among Canadians. This includes support for domestic and international engagement with Indigenous People, as well as for research activities and capacity building. There is also useful capacity building such as support for training for federal employees who deal with IP governance.
  • Tools and Advice: The IP Strategy introduces tools to support Canadian businesses to learn more about IP and information about how to pursue IP strategies. The government is creating a patent collective to bring together businesses to facilitate better IP outcomes for members. This patent collectives share in IP expertise and strategy, including access to a larger collection of patents and IP.

To review the Government’s IP Strategy, click here.

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 About Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. A vital connection between business and government, we provide our members with the advocacy, networking and professional development services that help them to thrive nationally and compete globally.

A prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity, ITAC encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors. A member-driven not-for-profit, ITAC has served as the authoritative national voice of the $170 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 36,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates over one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Janet Gibson Eichner

Cell: 416-357-8908 or jgibson_eichner@itac.ca