Live Event Blog: Global Threat - Local Consequences

Live Event Blog: Global Threat - Local Consequences

This is a live event blog for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Business Forum on Illicit Trade: "Global Threat - Local Consequences"

The event is being covered by IPilogue editors Jonathan Giraldi and Brandon Evenson

9:08 Bob Weese, Chair of the Canadian Intellectual Property Council (CIPC) has begun the forum by welcoming all attendees and discussing CIPC's committment to various IP initiatives.

10:06: We've been hearing a lot about counterfeit goods and the focus has been on products with serious health consequences.  A National Geographic film we just saw focused heavily on illicit pharmaceutical products that have led to deaths, and just now Superintendent Graham Burnside, Director of the Federal Enforcement Branch of the RCMP passed around a packet containing counterfeit samples of a common heart drug seized recently in Canada.

10:32 Aaron Sawchuk, Director, Enforcement and Regulatory Affairs Canadian Recording Industry Association introduced the issues and broadly discussed some of the key components of a robust IP system:

1 - Laws: The importance of having adequate laws to protect IP and encourage the commercialization of IP
2 - Institutions: The importance of government, courts, and agencies to enforce IP laws
3 - Education: The importance of education in changing the demand side of the equation in the trade of illicit goods

10:45 One of the areas Aaron Sawchuk touched on was the importance of institutions in driving IP protection. Jeffrey Hardy, Coordinator for the Business Action to stop Counterfeiting and Piracy with the International Chamber of Commerce further expounded on this subject advocating for greater connection and collaboration between regional organizations such as CIPC with other similar organizations around the world.

11:10 A major achievements being discussed by Brad Hunter, Senior Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been the passage of legislation within the US which sets up and attempts to repair legislative weaknesses in the anti-counterfeit regime. The legislation creates a permanent position for an individuals in the White House who will coordinate activity for anti-counterfeit activities. There is also a grant for $10M per year over the next five years to the FBI and $10M per year over the next 5 years for specialized prosecutors in copyright and trademarks.

1:30 We just heard a perspective from the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of Canadian Chamber of Commerce who shared his view that IP crime is the crime of the 21st century.  Mr. Beatty's perspective as a former Federal minister was especially interesting, as he pointed out that it can be frustrating when multiple trade groups attempt to persuade the government to become involved in an issue.  In this regard, the formation of the CIPC is of key importance: it allows government to understand the perspective of multiple industries through a unified voice.

2:40 We just wrapped up a panel discussion between IPOsgoode’s own Rex Shoyama and Dr. Tom Corr of University of Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre which commercializes the university’s patents. The discussion canvassed UW’s policy of allowing students and professors to keep 100% of proceeds of their discoveries, and how this policy has fostered innovation and encouraged commercialization in the marketplace. According to Dr. Corr, the UW experience has shown that the gains from gifting and other benefits from spinoff companies has amounted to more than the school would ever get from taking a cut of research from the outset.

Rex shared the IPOsgoode mandate of reaching out to engage multiple disciplines in the ongoing IP dialogue, and providing balanced and objective research. He highlighted patent benefits that go beyond economic interests, including the ability to encourage collaboration between researchers and enable great ideas to reach the market place.

3:00 Three panalists from different industries: Declan Hamill, Vice President Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property Policy, Canada's Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Pharmaceutical), Joseph Neu, Vice President Engineering Codes & Standards, Electro-Federation Canada (Electrical), and Denis Dyack, President, Silicon Knights (Software) have each presented their perspectives of how Canada's current IP regime is affecting their business, industry, and membership. Common amongst all is the belief that part of the solution is a change in mentality of the consumer. Consumers who understand the potential repercussions of their purchase to both their personal life (eg. drugs that have no medicinal ingredient, or electrical equipment without the proper engineering and safety requirements), to the long-term effect on the Canadian economy and funding of organized crime, may change their purchasing behaviour.