Considerations Regarding a Canadian Patent Collective
CIGI Papers No. 172 (May 2018)
20 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018 Last revised: 14 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 11, 2018
In its 2018 budget, the Government of Canada pledged CDN$85.3 million over five years to support an ambitious new intellectual property (IP) strategy, including CDN$30 million for the formation of a Canadian “Patent Collective.” This paper explores the possible structure and goals of such a collective, as well as potential risks and challenges of each. It concludes that appreciable technology development by Canadian firms is not likely to be achieved through the proposed patent collective, but that such a collective could assist Canadian firms by facilitating their participation in existing international defensive patent networks. The paper recommends that the proposed Canadian patent collective avoid the acquisition and aggregation of patents, and instead focus its limited resources on three supportive functions for Canadian industry: assisting Canadian firms, through subsidies or other resource commitments, to participate in existing international defensive patent networks; encouraging Canadian universities and research institutions to focus on commercially relevant “translational” research; and assessing the potential benefits of facilitating patent sharing or pooling arrangements in select Canadian industries, and offering administrative and infrastructural support for such efforts.
Keywords: Patent, Canada, Sovereign Patent Fund, Defensive Patent Use, Commons, Collective, Patent Pledge
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