Monday, 10 July 2017 09:00

The promise of the invention

The promise of the inventionIn a blog entitled The Patent Policy That Could Harm Canada’s Patients, Laura Crist of the Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, condemned Canada’s patent case law for requiring Canadian patents to achieve the promise set out in the patent specification. Although it is true that many patents, particularly in the pharmaceutical field, have been found invalid on this basis, it is also true that many pharmaceutical patents have been found valid and infringed, a point Crist conveniently ignores.
Published in Issue Archive
CETA bringing changes to pharma patents in CanadaOn Oct. 30, 2016, Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Just one day later, Bill C-30: An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures was introduced.  
Published in Issue Archive
Monday, 27 February 2017 09:01

Build an IP case to protect your database

Build an IP case to protect your databaseOur predecessors have always been collectors. Hunter-gatherers survived in harsh climates by collecting stone axes, arrowheads, animal furs and the like. Today, as lawyers, many of us channel these basic instincts into feverish collection of electronic data — overflowing email in-boxes, Word documents, expert reports and sundry PDF forms with too-small print. 
Published in Issue Archive
It has never been more important for Canadian companies to identify and protect their trade secrets. We often initially visualize an intruder or a hacker when picturing a trade secret thief. Consider the risk of a thief handing over your stolen trade secrets to his or her business partner.
Published in Issue Archive
Now’s the time to develop a global trademark strategyThe Economist recently commented on the low level of Canadian patent activity, with Canada behind not only perennial patent powerhouses South Korea and Japan but also most other developed regions, according to the article “More Particle Than Wave” in the April issue of the magazine.
Published in Issue Archive
Monday, 06 June 2016 09:00

IP into the future

IP into the futureIf James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine, thought getting a patent for his clunky machine in 18th-century London was tough, he’d not tried to protect something intangible that people cannot see, feel, or touch. Once exemplified by discoveries like Watt’s steam engine, innovation can now start and end with information, complicating exactly what we mean by “making something.” The value of protecting information-based inventions has risen with the speed of innovation, but designing intellectual property systems to suit today’s breakthroughs remains a slow, delicate art.
Monday, 06 June 2016 09:00

IP back to the future

Illustration: Carl Wiens, 121 Art
Illustration: Carl Wiens, 121 Art
In the realm of traditional or cultural knowledge, is there an argument to be made that current intellectual property conventions don’t go far enough? Is there also an argument to be made that economically there is a need to reframe the way we view protection of knowledge from the past?
Published in Features
Monday, 06 June 2016 09:00

Let’s talk about IP, baby

A little over a year ago, I read an article in The Globe and Mail by Jim Balsillie, the co-founder of Research in Motion, called “Canadians can innovate, but we’re not equipped to win.” The gist of it was that Canadians can’t succeed on the global stage in the new knowledge economy, in part, if not in whole, because this country does not have sufficient policies and infrastructure to help entrepreneurs make money from their ideas. “Canada’s current infrastructure and our public and private leadership do not foster the needed capacity to contend effectively in the complex, predatory and state-sponsored ideas ownership game,” wrote Balsillie.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 25 April 2016 09:00

Much ado about nothing?

Much ado about nothing?On Oct. 5, 2015, 12 countries, including Canada, signed the final draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Ratification must occur within two years. Intellectual property was a contentious issue during negotiations, in particular aspects relating to pharmaceuticals, such as patent term extensions, data protection, and patent/drug approval “linkage” mechanisms.
Published in Issue Archive
Monday, 29 February 2016 09:01

The Old Man and the Sea of IP

The Old Man and the Sea of IPThis article will discuss licensing out of technology, but first let’s look at the basics with the help of a literary giant. Ernest Hemingway is not just a famous author anymore. Part of his legacy, as carefully managed by companies controlled by his heirs, is now growing into a significant branding enterprise that does much more than publish books.
Published in Issue Archive
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