The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, fresh off its e-commerce study, kicks off a new study on intellectual property this morning. The study will apparently focus on
“the important role of intellectual property in Canadian innovation and leading edge technology.” Today’s hearing
will feature witnesses from CIPO and Industry Canada’s IP policy office. The other witnesses have not been announced, but it is essential that the committee hear from independent experts and innovative companies who go beyond cheerleading intellectual property under the “more is better” mantra by also pointing to the risks from overbroad patent laws that can harm innovation, restrictive trademark protections that can stifle free speech, and inflexible copyright laws that undermine innovation and leading edge technologies. The challenge for the committee is to ensure that it strikes a balance so that it can develop an informed report that provides useful recommendations for future government action.