Property Rights Advocates to Prime Minister Trudeau: Protect IP Rights
Mar 15, 2016
After the first meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama, PM Trudeau said “As our leading trading partner and closest ally, the relationship between our two countries has always been vital,” said Trudeau. “As an exporting nation, Canada is always eager to work closely to reduce the trade barriers between our two countries.”
A coalition of IP advocates agree with PM Trudeau and signed a coalition letter urging the Prime Minister to “promote a public policy environment in Canada that supports innovation and intellectual property.” IP is a very important and relevant policy discussion to have between both nations because protection of intellectual property is a foundation for economic growth and trade. For example, U.S., IP-intensive industries contribute approximately $5.8 trillion to output—or approximately 38 percent of total U.S. GDP.” Additionally, IP-intensive industries also make up $1 trillion worth in exports for the United States.
The coalition letter brings together over a dozen pro-IP and free market organizations, and lays outs some current concerns about the protection of IP rights in Canada. The letter gives the “promise doctrine” as a specific example of a vague and unpredictable regulation that slows innovation.
The coalition letter explains some of the problems caused by the promise doctrine. For example: “The promise doctrine will also have a negative impact on innovation and access to medicines. For innovators to invest crucial resources required over many years of research and development, companies need certainty and the ability to enforce and defend patents.”
Furthermore, this regulation as well as others has left innovators uneasy. Innovators are no longer sure what is exactly needed to enable them to properly defend their intellectual property. Moreover, the promise doctrine has also made itself heard to the Canadian population. Since its implementation, clinical trials for pharmaceuticals have decreased by 21 percent.
The coalition group also states that the promise doctrine goes against Canada’s NAFTA and WTO obligations, and that this does not set an appropriate example to developed and developing economies. Canada, being a leader in IP, is asked by the group to set an example to other economies around the world.
The letter goes on to rightly show why Canada has begun to lag behind other developed nations and why the best way to stroke innovation is by protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.
It is with all this information and facts that the coalition group makes their argument to the Canadian Prime Minister to help Canada, the United States, and their respective citizens toward a more friendly IP environment where intellectual property and economic growth flourish. The coalition advocates wrote the letter in hopes that a productive dialogue can take place between leaders of both countries on intellectual property.
To read the full letter click here