One of Canada’s longstanding digital and economic policy concerns has involved innovation, with fears that the Canadian economy is failing to keep pace with other, more innovative economies. Some point to intellectual property as a critical part of policy equation, arguing that stronger IP laws would help incentivize greater innovation. Economists Nancy Gallini and Aidan Hollis recently released an interesting report for the Institute for Research on Public Policy examining the role of patents and patent policy in Canadian innovators’ decisions to sell their IP rather than continue to develop it in Canada, and the incentives driving this decision. Professor Hollis joins the podcast this week to discuss the report, its link to innovation policy, and what the government could consider to address ongoing concerns.
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To Sell or Scale Up: Canada’s Patent Strategy in a Knowledge Economy
Interesting graph at the IRPP link. I wonder, though, whether the trend toward “Canadian-invented” patents being assigned to foreign owners could be a function of the number of inventors per patent increasing over time. The authors seem to define “Canadian-invented” as meaning at least one Canadian inventor; if cross-border co-inventorship has increased significantly since 1998, it’s possible that what we see in that graph is simply a growing incidence of international co-inventorship, with a non-zero proportion of these patents being owned by the non-Canadian inventors or parent companies.
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