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    World Economic Forum Ranks Canada Ahead of US, Japan, UK on IP Protection

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    Monday September 13, 2010
    In recent years, several lobby groups (along with the U.S. government) have worked extremely hard to convince the Canadian public that Canadian intellectual property laws are substandard, leading to claims that investment in Canada is harmed because of our legal framework. Bill C-32 is obviously a response to that pressure, yet a new report from the World Economic Forum - not exactly a group of radical extremists - has found that executives actually rank Canadian intellectual property protection ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and most of Europe.  The WEF's Global Competitiveness Report ranked Canada 13th for IP protection, including anti-counterfeiting measures.  That is ahead of Australia (14th), Norway (16th), United Kingdom (17th), Japan (21st), and the United States (24th).  Moreover, the 13th place rank represents an improvement from 18th last year.

    The number are not scientific.  Rather, they are the result of the World Economic Forum's Executive Survey.  In other words, once we get past the lobby spin about what company's think of Canadian IP laws, the executives themselves rank Canada ahead of the very countries we are told we need to emulate.  None of this suggests that we should not engage in IP reform, including copyright reform.  There is a need for change to Canadian copyright.  But reform should proceed on the basis of the national interest and maintaining the copyright balance, not as a result of the attempts to paint Canada as an international laggard whose reputation is harmed by its legal framework.
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    World Economic Forum Ranks Canada Ahead of U.S. on IP Protection

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    Wednesday April 09, 2008
    There is considerable discussion today about a new report from the World Economic Forum on "network readiness."  The U.S. ranks fourth worldwide, while Canada fares poorly overall, ranking 13th in the world (down from 11th last year).   Canada ranks toward the very top in a number of categories including personal computer ownership and e-government readiness so why the disappointing overall result?  Two key factors - the paperwork involved in starting a business (among the worst of 127 countries surveyed) and the uncompetitive mobile and broadband markets.  The latter factor is particularly troubling as the cost of both broadband and mobile phones rank among the highest in the world.

    Interestingly, there is a bright light that casts doubt on the repeated (false) claims that Canada is a laggard on intellectual property protection.  In the IP protection category, Canada ranks 15th worldwide, ahead of both the United States and Japan.  The rankings come from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, which ranks the G8 countries in the following order:
    1. Germany (1 overall)
    2. UK (8)
    3. France (9)
    4. Canada (15)
    5. Japan (17)
    6. United States (22)
    7. Italy (42)
    8. Russia (113)
    While the U.S. and copyright lobby groups continue to propagate the myth that Canada fares poorly on IP protection, it turns out that global business executives see it somewhat differently.  If Industry Minister Jim Prentice is serious about addressing Canada's competitiveness concerns, global executives say the problem lies with uncompetitive telecommunications and government paperwork, not our IP law framework.

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