Archive for August, 2010

Commercialization of IP In Canadian Universities: Barely Better Than Break Even

Last week, Statistics Canada released its latest report on the commercialization of intellectual property in Canadian universities.  Canada spends billions of public dollars on research funding each year and the government has been increasingly focused on how best to commercialize the results.  While there are several possible approaches to doing this, the government and some universities have been focused on building patent and IP portfolios as part of a conventional commercialization strategy.  The alternative could be an open access approach – encourage (or require) much of the intellectual property to be made broadly available under open licences so that multiple organizations could add value and find ways to commercialize.  The universities might generate less income but would better justify the public investment in research by providing the engine for larger economic benefits.

Which approach is better?  The full commercialization approach has been tried in the U.S. with legislation known as Bayh-Dole and studies (here and here) have found that patents to universities have increased, but the increase has been accompanied by harm to the public domain of science and relatively small gains in income.

The Canadian Science and Technology Strategy similarly places its faith in commercialization through IP portfolios and licencing, yet the Statscan data suggests that this has also been ineffective. 

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August 31, 2010 18 comments News

EU-Backed Study Finds Counterfeits Pro-Consumer, Rejects Company Complaints

A new report funded by the European Union has concluded that counterfeits have pro-consumer effects while rejecting claims of losses by established companies.  The report concludes that most counterfeit purchases are not substitute for the genuine article and actually help promote the brand.  The report finds that the real cost […]

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August 31, 2010 3 comments News

CRTC Mandates Wholesale Access for ISPs

The CRTC yesterday affirmed an earlier decision requiring incumbents to grant wholesale access to faster speeds to independent ISPs.  The government could still overrule the decision within the next 90 days.

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August 31, 2010 6 comments News

Conrad Black Case Targets Net Defamation Jurisdiction Standard

Conrad Black’s ongoing legal fight in the United States has attracted considerable attention in Canada, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) there is a side courtroom battle at home over alleged defamatory content on the Internet that merits closer attention.  The case, named Black v. Breeden, involves postings such as press releases and reports on the Hollinger International, Inc. website that Black claims were defamatory.  Several Ontario media organizations published the allegations contained in those releases.

When Black sued the company’s directors, advisers, and one company employee for defamation, the defendants in the case brought a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, arguing that Ontario was not the appropriate venue for the case since both Hollinger and Black are located in the U.S.  After a judge dismissed the motion, the defendants appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In a unanimous decision this month, the appellate court upheld the ruling by the motions judge, concluding that Ontario was a suitable venue and that the defamation case could proceed.

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August 30, 2010 14 comments Columns

James Moore on the Private Copying Levy

“As technology changes, the levy is not an effective mechanism to compensate copyright creators for possible theft of their work. For that reason, our Government has not included an expansion of the private copying regime to iPods and other devices in our recently proposed amendments to copyright. Instead, we have […]

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August 30, 2010 22 comments News