Important Legislation Comes into Force to Help Foster Innovation
OTTAWA (June 23rd, 2016) The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) is proud to welcome new provisions in the Patent Act and Trade-marks Act that will be coming into force on June 24th. These provisions will protect confidential communications between clients and their patent and trademark agents made for the purpose of seeking or giving advice with respect to any matter relating to the protection of an invention or trademark, respectively.
“Such communications with patent and trademark agents - whether or not they are also lawyers - will now be protected from disclosure in court and administrative proceedings by a privilege akin to solicitor-client privilege,” said Peter Wilcox, President of IPIC. “These enactments bring Canada's laws into line with other jurisdictions that have seen the need for privilege in order to promote full and frank communications between clients and their patent and trademark agents.”
The new provisions that are coming into force are timely given last week’s launch of the Government’s Innovation Agenda. Only days ago, the Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, spoke of the need to position Canada as a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, and Canadian start-up companies into global successes. The Minister stated that Canadians have to work together to address the gaps that are holding the country back from fulfilling its innovation agenda.
“I’m happy to say that as of tomorrow, one of those gaps will be bridged,” Mr. Wilcox stated in reference to the Government’s Innovation Agenda.
Privilege in these communications ensures that the best advice is received in connection with establishing legal rights. The amendment also benefits Canadian innovators looking to grow into global successes because it will level the playing field should they enter litigation in other countries.
“This is a positive step for Canadian businesses, universities and colleges, not-for-profits, and government agencies that own intellectual property rights,” continued Mr. Wilcox. “We appreciate the work that has been done on this by the department over the years, and we want to urge the Government to continue moving forward in a positive direction. By launching the Innovation Agenda, the Minister called to action every sector of society. Having worked on bridging one gap, IPIC is ready to bridge another one by creating a professional regulatory body for patent and trademark agents.”
IPIC anticipates working with the Government on legislation to modernize the regulatory framework for patent and trademark agents in order to protect the public interest and to help foster a culture of innovation in Canada.intellectual property rights in Canada.