The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology released its report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada yesterday. The report is the result of lengthy hearings that focused on a wide range of IP issues including patent reform, trademarks, counterfeiting, and pharmaceutical protection. While most the recommendations are fairly innocuous – the committee identifies many issues for further study – there are essentially three main legislative reform recommendations. One involves limiting the scope of official marks, which appears to be the result of comments from Dalhousie law professor Rob Currie (echoed by CIPO’s Sylvain Laporte) expressing concern with governmental abuse of official marks in a way that may stifle innovation.
The other two are particularly interesting as they set the stage for the Canada – EU Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. First, the report recommends anti-counterfeiting measures similar to those required by CETA and found in Bill C-56. Should criticism arise over Bill C-56 or CETA, the government will likely point to this report in support.
The second involves a classic case of policy laundering as the government has manufactured support for CETA and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provisions that were not even raised at committee. The report recommends: