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Province Launches Intellectual Property Action Plan

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Province Launches Intellectual Property Action Plan

Made-in-Ontario Plan to Help Generate, Commercialize, and Protect the Value of Homegrown Ideas

Office of the Premier

The Ontario government announced the province's first Intellectual Property Action Plan, following the recommendations made by the Expert Panel on Intellectual Property. The plan will drive the province's long-term economic competitiveness by prioritizing the generation, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property.

It will also put in place:

  • supports to help entrepreneurs and start-ups harness intellectual property's value for economic benefit; and
  • a Special Implementation Team on Intellectual Property.

Special Implementation Team on Intellectual Property

The government has established a Special Implementation Team on Intellectual Property as a continuation of the work of the Expert Panel on Intellectual Property. It will provide advice to the government on:

  • Clarifying the roles and mandates of commercialization offices within postsecondary and research institutions and organizations.
  • Strengthening intellectual property literacy by developing standardized, digital basic and advanced Intellectual Property education curriculums.
  • Developing a governance framework for organizations supporting entrepreneurial and innovation activities, which incorporates intellectual property considerations.
  • A centralized provincial resource to increase access to Intellectual Property legal expertise and educational resources everywhere in the province.

Implementation team members will come from a wide range of backgrounds including postsecondary education, industry, technology and innovation, venture capital and investment, and intellectual property law. Members are:

  • Jim Balsillie, retired Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (now Blackberry), Co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, and Founder and Chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Dr. Shiri Breznitz, Associate Professor of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Myra Tawfik, EPICentre Professor of Intellectual Property Commercialization and Strategy, University of Windsor
  • Dr. Dan Herman, co-founder of MyJupiter Inc. and co-founder of The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship & Economic Performance (DEEP)
  • Natalie Raffoul, Registered Patent Agent, Managing Partner of Brion Raffoul Intellectual Property Law

Key Facts on Intellectual Property Commercialization in Canada

  • A recent Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) report indicates that Canadian academic institutions filed 687 patents, down from 790 in 2016 and the fewest since 2008.
  • According to a recent Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) report, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aware of or holding registered Intellectual Property rights are more likely to have expanded, or intend to expand, to domestic and international markets. The report also finds that just two per cent of Canadian SMEs hold at least one patent.
  • The government created an Expert Panel on Intellectual Property in May 2019 to provide advice on the commercialization of research and intellectual property in Ontario's postsecondary institutions and innovation intermediaries. The panel submitted its report in February.

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