Evidence of meeting #31 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was intellectual.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Mark Eisen  President, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Graham Henderson  Co-chair, Canadian Intellectual Property Council
  • Michel Gérin  Executive Director, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  • Ruth Corbin  Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, CorbinPartners Inc., As an Individual
  • Jeremy de Beer  Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

9:50 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

To quickly follow up on that, let's say the Nortel situation had happened in Japan in the circumstances you're speaking of. Would that have brought all that intellectual property out into the public domain within Japan so that all their businesses would have access to it?

9:50 a.m.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Prof. Jeremy de Beer

No. The intellectual property would still be protected, but what would happen is it would be managed and controlled by an entity with domestic interests in mind. I'm not saying that would have happened in Japan, but Japan and Korea and the EU are examples of jurisdictions that have started to think creatively like this.

9:50 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

It's a different approach from the open source software?

9:50 a.m.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Prof. Jeremy de Beer

Yes, and that's an important point. Open source does not abandon IP protection. You acquire IP protection, and then creatively license it.

9:50 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

I've been a big user of open source software in all the various IT endeavours I've used. You can either choose to pay for the software or pay to further develop it and make it what you need.

How much time do I have left?

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Sweet

You have 26 seconds.

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

In 26 seconds, why do we need an evidence-based policy review?

9:55 a.m.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Prof. Jeremy de Beer

Because the issues are so complicated, we have to move beyond banal rhetoric and just saying we need a strong IP policy. Everybody agrees. The question is how. That's what an independent evidence-based review will accomplish.

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Thank you.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Sweet

Thank you very much.

Now we'll move on to Mr. McColeman, for five minutes.

May 15th, 2012 / 9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Actually, first of all I'd like to thank all the witnesses for being here. I was going to go down a different line, but Dr. de Beer, let's just expand on that question of “how”.

Obviously, across the group here today we have a very learned group of people who've looked at this, studied it from various angles. You must have a sense of what the answer to that question might be. Could you share your views as to what the “how” is?

9:55 a.m.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, As an Individual

Prof. Jeremy de Beer

Yes. The key is to increase certainty and reduce transaction costs. Those should be the overarching principles of intellectual property policies--increase certainty, reduce transaction costs. That means when you go to get a patent, we need to create a system where you're reasonably assured that the quality of the patent is high enough that it's going to stand up in court.

We're not just encouraging people to go out and get patents because they can or we think it's good for them. You get a patent because you deserve it. When you get it, you know it's good. Then you're going to reduce the costs of litigation, you're going to facilitate licensing. There are a variety of concrete strategies that I'd be happy to follow up on about how to do that.

It's increasing certainty and reducing transaction costs that will make the market work.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Excellent.

All of you have had a common thread of education, training, public awareness--cultural change, you might call it--in terms of how not only SMEs but the public at large view this issue. Do any of you have anything beyond the traditional ways of communication and training that we have?

Ultimately, as governments work, in practical terms it boils down to a few talking points. What are the talking points?

I'll start with Dr. Corbin.

9:55 a.m.

Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, CorbinPartners Inc., As an Individual

Dr. Ruth Corbin

Here's how you could help in a big way--use the words “intellectual property”. I'm just going to leave you with one big idea. Nobody knows what it is, and yet here we're talking about what we believe to be one of the most important things in the country.

One time, when I spoke to the president of the Institute of Corporate Directors, we spoke for about an hour. I thought she was getting excited about the idea. When she left, she said, “Well, thank you, Ruth. I'm sure our lawyers will know what you're talking about.”

If you could start to use the words “intellectual property” in your public addresses so that they become part of our common language, so that people say, “What does that mean?”, so that they start to talk about it, you would do us all and the country a great service.

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Henderson, do you have any views?