Canadian government launches intellectual property strategy for innovators & small businesses

27 April 2018


Yesterday, the federal government launched a national Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy aimed at innovators and small businesses.

The government will invest $85.3 million over five years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access IP through its comprehensive strategy. Navdeep Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, unveiled the details in Ottawa on April 26 - World IP Day.

The government's approach will enable Canada's innovators to compete on the world stage, the minister announced, noting that IP is a key component of an innovation economy. The new strategy is expressly intended to help Canadian entrepreneurs better understand and protect their IP, and gain greater access to shared IP.

The announcement features changes in three key areas, with specific policy goals:

(1) LEGISLATION

  • Key IP laws will be amended in ways that are intended to remove barriers to innovation, particularly targeting perceived loopholes that are identified as allowing those seeking to use IP in bad faith to inhibit innovation.
  • An independent body will be created to oversee patent and trademark agents. This is intended to reinforce professional and ethical standards in the provision of quality advice from IP professionals in Canada.

(2) LITERACY AND ADVICE

  • A suite of programs will be launched by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to help improve IP literacy among Canadians.
  • Support for domestic and international engagement between Indigenous people and decision makers will be included in the strategy, along with support for research activities and capacity building.
  • Training for federal employees who deal with IP governance will be a part of the strategy.

(3) TOOLS

  • Tools will be provided in the strategy to support Canadian businesses as they learn about IP and pursue their own IP strategies.
  • A patent collective is being created by the government to bring together businesses to facilitate better IP outcomes for members. This is envisioned as a coming together of firms to share in IP expertise and strategy, including gaining access to a larger collection of patents and IP.

Taken together, these measures, along with the Innovation and Skills Plan, have the express purpose of helping Canadian innovators to maximize the value of their creations and enhance further innovation from coast to coast to coast.

For more than 125 years, Gowling WLG has been providing unmatched expertise in patents, trademarks, brands and designs, copyright, advertising, IP litigation and more. Many of the professionals are specialists in science, engineering and technology. This unique combination of legal talent and in-depth industry knowledge enables the legal team to better understand and support clients business needs. Learn more about our work in patents and intellectual property.


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