The Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) recently released a report entitled A Time for Change: Toward a New Era for Intellectual Property Rights in Canada. The report discusses the importance of an effective intellectual property (IP) rights (IPR) system in encouraging innovation, ensuring economic prosperity, and maintaining global competitiveness. It then outlines a number of areas in which Canada’s IPR regime lags behind other nations and does not adequately protect IPRs. In particular, it notes that counterfeiting and piracy go largely unchecked in Canada, costing the Canadian economy an estimated $22 billion annually.

In its report, CIPC highlights three areas where the Canadian IPR system falters: legislative reform; education; and institutional support for the judicial and legal system. Focusing on those areas, the report sets out six recommendations to address the failings of the current Canadian IPR system and to bring it up to international standards. Those recommendations are:

  1. Enact legislation that implements the WIPO Internet treaties.
  2. Enact legislation that will make both counterfeiting and piracy criminal offences and attract stiffer penalties.
  3. Implement an IPR border enforcement system to stem the flow of counterfeit and pirated goods coming into Canada, through empowering the Canada Border Services Agency to target, seize and destroy these goods.
  4. Establish a specialized IP Crime task force to target IP crime.
  5. Create an IPR Coordination Council to coordinate measures that promote IPRs. Members of the council should include senior government officials, IP rights holders and members of the business community.
  6. Establish an IPR education program so that consumers, rights holders and government officials can understand the importance of IP, the effect of IP theft and ways to combat IP crimes.

Founded in 2008, the CIPC is a Canadian business-led organization that advocates for stronger IP protection in Canada and worldwide.