Scene Setter - The Strategic Intellectual Property Program Review


Canada invests significant public resources to support research and development, in order to position the country for economic success and increased innovation potential. It does so with the understanding that these investments will support the growth of Canadian businesses and, by extension, deliver social and economic benefits to Canadians. Businesses, researchers and the public expect that these investments will be maximized—an outcome that may not occur when promising intellectual property (“IP”) is not successfully commercialized. In terms of the Strategic Intellectual Property Program Review (“the Review”), IP means all inventions, whether or not patented or patentable; all proprietary and technical information, whether or not constituting trade secrets; and all copyrightable works, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies, and distinguishing marks or trademarks, whether or not registered or registrable.

While it falls to IP owners to extract maximum value from their IP, the Government has an important role to play both in supporting IP owners in their drive to grow and in protecting the investment of public funds. The Government appreciates the importance of carefully balancing IP supports and limitations so that public and private interests can be best aligned to deliver broad benefits. It can be expected that how IP is integrated within innovation and science programs takes account of the unique circumstances of each funding opportunity (e.g., the size and maturity of the beneficiary, the technological space and competitive landscape in which the beneficiary operates; and the specific benefits being targeted) so that programs can adapt their agreements in view of these circumstances.

Objectives of the Review and Consultation

To better meet these balanced objectives, the Government has launched the Review. The Review is gathering data from a number of sources (e.g. consultations with IP experts, interviews with program beneficiaries, and an internal analysis of departmentally-funded programs) to assess how IP is integrated in the design and administration of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s (“ISED”) suite of innovation and science programs. As part of this work, ISED believes it is critical to draw upon the knowledge and lived experiences of members of the public within the innovation ecosystem, and is seeking your insights.

The consultation is focused on key issues related to how IP is treated and managed in ISED innovation and science programming. This includes the types of IP-specific information available to potential program applicants and resources made available by programs related to IP.