Improving Canada’s Competitiveness

Improving Canada’s Competitiveness

Our members know the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian IP regime because they help Canadian innovators obtain rights in Canada and around the world. Here are some of the past and current initiatives undertaken by IPIC to strenghten Canada's IP framework:

Bill C-59

Bill C-59 (An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures) proposes significant improvements in Canada’s intellectual property framework, protecting the confidential communications between innovators and their IP advisors from forced disclosure in litigation and providing the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with the ability to extend deadlines in cases of force majeure events. It received Royal Assent on June 23, 2015.

Providing a statutory privilege for IP advisor-client communications is consistent with initiatives on this issue taken in many of Canada’s most important trading partners and leading innovative economies.  With this, Canadian businesses are better assured that they can speak openly with their intellectual property advisors in order to obtain the best possible advice, knowing that these conversations will not be revealed to their competitors through a court process or litigation. Protecting such confidential communications will allow Canadian businesses to be more competitive in Canada and overseas, driving economic growth and creating jobs for Canadians.IPIC had advocated legislation to confer a statutory privilege for IP advisor-client communications for more than 15 years

Allowing the Canadian Intellectual Property Office the ability to extend deadlines in cases of force majeure events will help avoid unintentional loss of IP rights where, for example, floods or ice storms prevent the timely filing of documents with the Office. IPIC started working on this initiative in 2003, after a major power outage that year lead to losses of IP rights.

The privilege provisions come into force on June 24, 2016, 12 months from Royal Assent. The force majeure provisions come into force on a date to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council. 

For more information on Bill C-59, click here.

Incentivize innovation

  • Innovation Box
    • IPIC recommends that the federal government study the costs and benefits of creating an “innovation box” to help spur the commercialization of research. An innovation box is a tax incentive that allows business income from intellectual property (IP) to be taxed at a lower rate than regular income. Such a study  would investigate whether rewarding the successful commercialization of IP – which Canada lacks – would be a wise allocation of federal resources.
    • Similar measures are being pursued in many other countries including the U.K., the U.S. and China.
  • SR&ED
    • In general, with the possible exception of prior art searches, costs related to the acquisition, preservation, enforcement or commercialization of patents do not currently qualify as eligible expenses under Canada’s largest source of research and development (R&D) funding, the SR&ED Program.
    • In contrast, many other countries around the world do provide incentives to patenting.

Modernize the regulatory framework for patent and trademark agents

  • At IPIC’s 2010 Annual Meeting, members voted unanimously in favour of pursuing a proposal for the modernization of the regulatory framework for patent agents and trademark agents. For the latest information on this initiative, please click here.

For more information about each of these topics, please contact Anne-Josée Delcorde, Acting Executive Director.