News

Budget 2018 Commits $85.3M Over Five Years to National IP Strategy; Intellectual Property Institute of Canada Applauds Goal to Raise IP Awareness

Published on February 27, 2018

After committing in the 2017 federal budget to developing a “National Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy”, a first of its kind in Canada, the first details of what may be included in such a strategy were revealed today through Budget 2018: Equality and Growth for a Strong Middle Class.

Although the budget itself defers the details of the National IP Strategy to future announcements in the coming months by Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, it does provide some details on the funding of certain elements of the strategy. These include an overall commitment of $85.3M over five years, beginning in 2018-19, with a $10M/year ongoing commitment.

This is broken down further as:

  • $30M in 2019-20 for establishment of a pilot “Patent Collective”. The collective will work with Canadian entrepreneurs to pool patents, so that small and medium sized firms will have better access to critical IP they need to grow in early stages without fear of infringing on a patent.  The budget refers to this program as providing these businesses with the “freedom to operate”.
  • $21.5M over five years starting in 2018-19 for improving access to IP expertise and legal advice. This is described as improving access for entrepreneurs to IP legal clinics at universities, and for setting up a team in the federal government to work with entrepreneurs to develop tailored strategies for using their intellectual property and expanding into international markets.
  • $33.8M over five years starting in 2018-19, for strategic IP tools, including $4.5M directly for establishing an “intellectual property marketplace”. The marketplace will be a one-stop, online listing of public sector-owned intellectual property available for licensing or sale to reduce transaction costs for businesses and researchers.
  • $2M over three years will be granted to Statistics Canada for conducting an intellectual property awareness and use survey of Canadians. The results of the survey are intended to better inform how Canadians understand and use intellectual property in their business.
  • $1M over five years to enable representatives of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples to participate in discussions with the World Intellectual Property Organization related to intellectual property in the form of traditional knowledge and cultural expression.

“The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) is highly supportive of the intention behind developing a National IP Strategy, and also very much aligned with the goal of raising the IP awareness and literacy levels of Canadian entrepreneurs and small business leaders. Although it is unclear how the government will approach the development and delivery of this much needed education and awareness, IPIC looks forward to working with those involved.” said Grant Lynds, President of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.

Mr. Lynds went on to say, “Providing IP advice and expertise to entrepreneurs is what our members do every day. This is the core practice area of our members, so it is critical that the content and delivery of this message comes from our experienced members of the practicing IP profession.”

Today’s Budget announcement also referenced future legislative changes to be announced in the coming months.

“IPIC is very excited to hear the details of the legislative pieces planned for the National IP Strategy. We were disappointed to see that the government opted not to include financial incentives such as a First Patent Program, Commercialization Coupon, or Innovation Box tax incentive in this Budget, but we are hopeful that the remaining programs and legislative changes yet to be announced in the National IP Strategy will bear significant fruit in allowing Canada to become a more competitive environment for incentivizing IP, while also ensuring that fair and balanced rules are in place for registration and enforcement of intangible property of Canada’s innovative businesses,” said IPIC Executive Director, Adam Kingsley.

IPIC is the professional association of trademark agents, patent agents and lawyers practicing in all areas of intellectual property law. Our membership totals over 1,600 individuals, consisting of practitioners in law firms and agencies of all sizes, sole practitioners, in-house corporate intellectual property professionals, government personnel, and academics. Our members’ clients include virtually all Canadian businesses, universities and other institutions that have an interest in intellectual property in Canada or elsewhere, and also foreign companies who hold intellectual property rights in Canada.

For more information, please contact Adam Kingsley at akingsley@ipic.ca, 613-234-0516 x 25.