Canada has been in dire need of an innovative intellectual property (IP) strategy. The idea of a ‘patent collective’ is an offshoot of this need. Policy makers in Canada have been working towards creating a national IP strategy that would aid innovators as well as reduce the entry barriers of products and services in the market. Creating a patent collective is just one of the major points that are directed to help Canada’s innovative companies. Other points that will be introduced as a part of the national IP strategy in Canada are IP education and legal clinics and IP tools.
The main focus of this article is to discuss the concept of a patent collective and how it will impact the patent law in Canada.
Recently when Finance Minister Bill Momeau presented the budget, the allocation of funds for creating a patent collective was one of the main highlights because this had never been done before in Canada. Although countries like the U.S., France, and Germany have their own version of a patent collective, Canada has only recently followed suit. Only time will tell if this is going to benefit innovators or affect the growth of Canadian businesses.
What exactly is a patent collective and what is its purpose? A patent collective can be used by Canadian entrepreneurs to pool patents, so that small and medium sized firms will have better access to critical IP they need to grow in early stages without fear of infringing on a patent. The main aim of this collective is to give businesses the freedom to operate.
How will it Impact Businesses
The introduction of a patent collective will be able to address instances of IP leakage and reduce the entry barriers for new entrants. It will help companies in reducing the risk of exposure to patent infringement. This way Canadian businesses will collectively benefit from patent clearance.
The government will first create a pilot patent collective, and make it a sector specific initiative.
The patent collective should compliment the corporate level strategy of Canadian businesses, thereby allowing them to keep their own strategically generated intellectual property and increase their market share.
The permanent implementation of the patent collective will depend on the performance of the pilot collective that is going to be established. If you wish to learn more on this topic, get in touch with our patent lawyers or agents.