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Launch of the Latest Data on Global IP - How Does Canada Size Up? (1 of 3)

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Yesterday, the Global IP Center released the second edition of its global IP report entitled Charting the Course. I covered the launch of their first report on LillyPadCA as well as an early peak at this Report last year at an event in Ottawa during a panel discussion hosted by Montréal InVivo and Life Sciences Ontario focusing on the Competitiveness of Canada's Life Sciences.

As a quick refresher, Prof. Pugatch has developed this ranking survey with the Global IP Center out of Washington D.C. The first ever ranking of 11 countries was released in 2012.

The Index maps the IP environment of 25 countries from around the world utilizing 30 factors and includes 14 new countries in this survey including: Argentina, New Zealand, Turkey, Colombia, Nigeria, Ukraine, France, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, Japan and Thailand.

As a fan of evidence based research, I've been very supportive of the work that has gone into this survey. For Canada, as a small, trade dependent economy, that has been the beneficiary of improving intellectual property laws, understanding how we are doing when tested against our global competitors across a range of sectors is key to maintaining jobs, driving research investment and getting new technologies to Canadians.

So generally how did Canada do in comparison to our competitors? Well, according to the survey, we are moving in the right direction, but still have work to do.

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Under the heading: Charting the Course - Heading in the Right Direction Canada was singled out for its work in reaching an agreement on a trade agreement with the European Union.

Canada recently concluded negotiations with theEuropean Union (EU) on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Should the provisions of CETA successfully be implemented, Canada's IP environment would improve significantly. 

However, the Survey noted that Canada must continue to do more, and in the section entitled Charting the Course - Moving Backwards

Canada continues to lag behind other developed nations on protecting and enforcing IP. The lack of a takedown mechanism or equivalent obligation on the copyright side, and the onerous "patent utility" requirements related to pharmaceutical patents continue to be a concern. 

So, an ongoing effort is required to maintain our economic competitiveness in an ever changing policy, political and economic environment.

In the 2012 Survey, Canada achieved a 'score' of 14.21 out of 25. The 2012 report had Canada scoring closer to Mexico at 12.23 versus the next closest, Australia at 21.63, looking at factors such as implementation of international IP agreements, enforcement, trade secrets / market access, trademarks, copyrights and patents.

This year, Canada's Total Overall Score was 17.4 out of a possible 30. This means that Canada's overall score has stayed roughly the same at 57% of the total possible score (with a score of 14.21) in 2012 to 58% in 2014.

Comparatively this year, Canada ranks 8th out of 25 countries which although it appears strong, is behind most of our developed competitor economies including the US, many EU countries, Australia and New Zealand.

It appears that Canada has some work to do to keep up with our biggest competitors. I'll take a closer look at the specifics of the Canadian score in my next blog post for insights into what we are getting right, and what we need to work on!

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