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Governing intellectual property in Canada – new DEEP Centre project

In the competitive global race for high-wage employment, governments have begun to see intellectual property as a strategic tool to be corralled within national borders for the benefit of domestic firms. But despite the publication of a number of high profile reports in recent years, Canada has seen a dearth of innovative thinking on the question of how to best utilize intellectual property to promote domestic innovation. Other countries, meanwhile, are pushing ahead by developing and implementing new and innovative policy models intended to spur investment in research and development and help domestic firms grow and prosper.

State-sponsored patent-buying organizations have sprung up in Europe and Asia, with different configurations but the same mission: to privilege domestic firms in high-tech industries and ensure that the results of publicly funded research remain within the borders where they were developed.

The purveyors of conventional economic wisdom oppose this expression of state intervention, dismissing it as a resurgence of the cult of industrial policy. Their voices remain loud and dominant in Canada. But the rise of state-driven vehicles in other jurisdictions requires immediate attention from Canadian policy-makers. The future of Canada’s innovation economy requires it.

This project will dive into the unexplored territory of sovereign patent funds to better understand the motives and actors behind their recent emergence. In particular, it seeks to help Canadian policy makers understand these new vehicles for industry promotion, and to help decipher potential responses to their emergence abroad.

For more information about this project contact Dan Herman, executive director of the DEEP Centre, via dherman@deepcentre.com



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The Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance turns research findings into practical insights and tools for stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.