Tuesday, January 15, 2008

CIPO on Intellectual Property and Competetiveness

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has made a submission to the Competition Policy Review Panel. They make several points:

on trademark registration:
  • Canada should join the Madrid system of international registration of trade-marks offers trade-mark owners, which allows trade-mark owners to have their marks protected in multiple member countries by filing one application for registration with the local IP office
  • Canada should ratify the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, which would mean "more harmonized policies with respect to registration and maintenance of trade-marks, and a somewhat stronger voice for Canada in negotiating ongoing changes to the international trade-mark regime."
on patent commercialization:
  • "improving access to relevant IP data" for SMEs, since such access is "instrumental to the identification of successful commercialization partnerships both domestically and internationally"
  • "better support for technology transfer capacity in universities and promote a culture of entrepreneurship and commercialization in these settings"
on harmonization generally:
  • Although they don't mention the WIPO copyright treaties directly, they push international IP harmonization hard, arguing that a
"“tyranny of small differences” between regimes that can impose significant costs on Canadian businesses operating in foreign markets. Addressing these “small differences” through initiatives that harmonize the processes of registration and maintenance of IP rights is likely to effect a positive change in both Canada's attractiveness as a place to do business and in the global outlook of Canadian companies."

"Greater harmonization of administrative processes also allows foreign enterprises wishing to invest in or partner with Canadian firms to register and protect their intellectual property without adjusting to as many of the particularities of the Canadian IP system."

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