New Gov't Agency: Intellectual Property Ontario

The Province of Ontario has quietly passed a regulation to create a new government agency with the mandate to increase public access to services and resources related to intellectual property, including the development of curricula for our post-secondary institutions.

Personally, I applaud this initiative. I have been saying for years (to anyone who would listen) that our post-secondary institutions should be adding IP to the curriculuum for business students, marketing students, graphic designers, software developers, artists and others.

It is always disheartening to discover how little the average post-secondary graduate understands about intellectual property and how to manage it effectively. Unfortunately, this leads many artists and businesses to both:

(a) miss valuable business opportunities by failing to protect intellectual property in a timely manner; and

(b) to waste money trying to protect intellectual property rights that have little or no value to their business.

I'm confident that if artists and business people understood the scope of the intellectual property rights available and what steps need to be taken to preserve those rights, they would develop more resilient and profitable businesses that will benefit our communities over the long term.

For more information, the regulation establishing this agency under the Development Corporations Act can be viewed at O. Reg. 4/22: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ONTARIO

The objects of the new agency are:

(a) to increase public access to services and resources in respect of intellectual property in order to advance economic growth and competitiveness in Ontario;

(b) to support the development and protection of intellectual property to improve the commercialization outcomes of research in Ontario;

(c) to advance knowledge, and to develop and disseminate educational curricula, best practices and research, in respect of intellectual property, and to advance understandings of domestic and international trends with respect to the protection and commercialization of intellectual property;

(d) to establish partnerships within and outside Canada with post-secondary institutions, governments and organizations, including organizations that provide supports for businesses and entrepreneurs, for the purpose of building capacity for the development, protection and commercialization of intellectual property in Ontario; and

(e) to provide advice, recommendations and support to the Government of Ontario, including to the Minister and the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, with respect to encouraging economic competitiveness through the development, protection and commercialization of intellectual property.

We look forward to hearing more about the activities of this new agency in the coming years.