World Economic Forum Ranks Canada Ahead of U.S. on IP Protection

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.


  1. Howard Knopf says:


    See my Fordham paper on why Canadian law is already stronger and better in at least 15 respects than that of the USA – many of which lead to substantial outflows of money to the USA.

    [ link ]


  2. Antoine W. says:

    Never listen to Lobyists
    It never pays to listen to lobbyists. With only very specific interests at heart, they never see the big picture. I hope this helps Jim Prentice develop a backbone.

  3. Maybe Prentice is right
    Maybe Minister Prentice is right, maybe canadian ip laws do need to be reformed…

    @Antoine W.

    Agreed, listening to lobbyists is like wholeheartedly believing in advertising.

  4. This particular post presents no new evidence. It does reinforce the point that it’s time to reduce and eliminate bureaucratic red tape and deal with government created monopolies in the telecommunications industry (Bell).

  5. Everybody better than somebody
    I follow closely the Danish IT world and this report is popular there too. After hearing the politicians talk, it strikes me as being a bit like sports day when I was a kid… everybody gets a ribbon. 🙂

  6. Chris Brand says:

    The UK
    It\’ll be interesting to see what adopting the Gowers fair dealing expansions will do to the UK\’s ranking (assuming the government actually does follow through with it).

  7. World Economic Forum….
    Everyone will surely want to know of what will be the respond of the US policy makers to the melt down of the US economy. Because of this, it hugely affects the global financial crisis itself. The financial crisis isn’t confined to Wall Street – it is global, and a lot of people are wondering if they can get payday loans online. The World Economic Forum met recently in Davos, Switzerland to hold a conference on what to do because of the downturn in the global economy. Payday loans online being the least of their worries, heads of state, economists, and business leaders were all called to take part in the conference. Hopefully a solution can be agreed on. Read more about the economic forum talks and payday loans online at the Money Blog.

  8. things would be different if..,
    there is an increasing need for rapid formulation of such law to prevent untoward incident concerning the cyber protection and staff.