Thursday, October 15, 2009

Canadian Un-Consultation re UNCITRAL Security Interests in IP Project

Despite the fact that a Canadian government official from the Department of Justice has been chairing UNCITRAL's work on security interests in IP for several years, there has been almost no consultation with the private sector in Canada on this important subject. The Europeans are very aware and involved - for the obvious reason that using IP assets as collateral to raise capital can be crucial to financing innovation. Here's info about a recent seminar in London, in which my friend Jeremy Phillips was instrumental.

Here are the links to the papers that will be discussed in Vienna from November 2-6, 2009. The papers date from July, 2009.

But so far, there have been no attempts of which I am aware by Canada's government to consult with Canadian experts and stakeholders in preparation for the November meeting. This failure to consult on this issue is deja vu all over again.

This is really a pity, given all the work of the late lamented Law Commission of Canada and many individuals under that aegis that was done on this issue. I was privileged to have advised the Law Commission on this project and to have edited the resulting book, which contains many excellent papers from Canada and abroad.


PS - the UK government is seeking input on this process, perhaps as a result of my friend Jeremy's efforts. See this.

It is possible that the Canadian government believes that there is insufficient interest here to warrant consultation. That, however, would be an incorrect and conclusory inference. If there is lack of obvious exitement over this in the private sector, it may be only because the private sector is almost completley unaware of what has been going on at UNCITRAL for several years. One of the the main functions of consultation by government is educational. Up to now, this has not happened. Hopefully, our government will find a way to share its expertise with the private setor, so that meaningful and timely input can be obtained. The issues are very technical and complex. But there are those who care and are capable of comprehending them. It would be unfortunate if the private sector becomes informed about all of this only when it is a fait accomplit.

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