The Hague Agreement Implementation and Industrial Design Event with Parliamentary Secretary Lametti

marked an important milestone for Canada as we officially acceded to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. To recognize Canada's accession to the first of five international intellectual property (IP) treaties, on December 10, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office held an event featuring panelists from successful and innovative companies with registered industrial designs and IP in robotics and wearable technology. James Kosa, chair of the Canadian Bar Association's Intellectual Property Section, moderated the discussion.

From left to right, Matt Gryniewski, Parliamentary Secretary David Lametti, Steve Sutherland, Christine Genge, James Kosa and Jacob Glick.

The event was well attended, with opening remarks delivered by The Honourable David Lametti, then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. He talked about the importance of including industrial design protection as a fundamental element of a business' IP strategy to protect the innovative "look" of a product, and underscored the importance of acceding to the IP treaties in advancing the Government's Innovation and Skills Plan and the IP Strategy.

Following Mr. Lametti's remarks, the event featured a panel discussion featuring people with very interesting backgrounds in innovation, IP and business. They included Jacob Glick, General Counsel of North, who talked passionately about a recently launched wearable and customizable pair of glasses called Focals™, described by the company as "your smartest pair of eyeglasses". Mr. Glick was proudly sporting them that night and attendees got to witness just how "smart" the glasses were when Mr. Glick answered a text message using his glasses!

Steve Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer of CrossWing Inc., demonstrated his robot model, virtualME™, and talked about its potential applications, such as cleaning dangerous residue from ultraviolet rays in medical clinics or for emergency situations to extinguish fires before firemen arrive at the scene.

Engineering Services Inc.'s Matt Gryniewski impressed attendees with his leadership on many projects, including the Canadian Space Agency's small manipulator arm. Engineering Services Inc. is the only collaborative robot arm maker in North America and the robot arms they create can work safely alongside humans in factories.

The panel also included Christine Genge of the Smart & Biggar law firm, who assists clients in securing patent, industrial design and trademark protection. She provided some meaningful insights into the intricacies of the Hague Agreement and lauded the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for its consultation efforts with the agent community.

One thing clearly stood out: panelists all agreed that international treaties like the Hague Agreement can be beneficial to their businesses as they strive to innovate and go global.