Government of Canada launches Intellectual Property Strategy
On April 26, Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched the Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy in Ottawa. IP is an important aspect of an innovation economy. It is hoped that this Strategy will help Canadian innovators reach commercial success.
The IP Strategy will help Canadian entrepreneurs understand and protect intellectual property, as well as improve access to shared intellectual property. The IP Strategy will help Canadian businesses commercialize innovations by giving them the information and confidence they need to grow and take risks.
The IP Strategy will make changes in three key areas: Legislation, Literacy and Advice.
The IP Strategy will amend key IP laws to ensure that we remove barriers to innovation, particularly any loopholes that allow those seeking to use IP in bad faith to stall innovation for their own gain. The IP Strategy will create an independent body to oversee patent and trademark agents, which will ensure that professional and ethical standards are maintained, and will support the provision of quality advice from IP professionals.
LITERACY AND ADVICE
As part of the IP Strategy, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office will launch a suite of programs to help improve IP literacy among Canadians. The IP Strategy includes support for domestic and international engagement between Indigenous people and decision makers as well as for research activities and capacity building. The IP Strategy will also support training for federal employees who deal with IP governance. TOOLS The IP Strategy will provide tools to support Canadian businesses as they learn about IP and pursue their own IP strategies. The government is creating a patent collective to bring together businesses to facilitate better IP outcomes for members. The patent collective is the coming together of firms to share in IP expertise and strategy, including gaining access to a larger collection of patents and IP.
Minister Bains stressed how critical intellectual property is in helping Canadian businesses reach commercial success. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) that hold formal intellectual property are more likely to engage in innovation, export, and be high growth.
House of Commons Committee calls for e-commerce tax
The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade released a report today that recommends (recommendation 3 in the attached report) the government apply sales taxes "on tangible and intangible products" sold through online platforms, and tax the profits from those sales. This would include internet giants such as Netflix.
Under current regulation, foreign-based streaming services without a physical presence in Canada don't have to collect or remit sales taxes. While Prime Minister Trudeau has said that the government will not increase tax on online subscriptions, Finance Minister Morneau has suggested in the past that the government wants to ensure that online firms pay their fair share of taxes.
Conservatives argue that such a tax would create additional costs for consumers and hurt small businesses.
New Democrats on the committee say the Liberals need to apply corporate income taxes on e-commerce profits earned in Canada by domestic and foreign sellers.
Full Report of the Standing Committee on International Trade found here.