Monday, March 18, 2013

Parliamentary Committee Report on Intellectual Property Regime in Canada

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has just released a 68 page report entitled Intellectual Property Regime in Canada.

None of the the recommendations are very startling. Many seem addressed at the issues raised by Bill C-56, namely giving ex offiio power to customs officials. The timing is thus quite interesting.

There are some useful recommendations, one of which leaps out immediately:
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada introduce
legislation which amends parts of the Trade-marks Act dealing with
official marks to restrict the scope of official marks to important
national government symbols and to narrow the definition of public
authorities to avoid stifling innovation and distorting markets
The report clearly warrants more study and comment.

But, first  you have to get past this formidable "Speaker's Permission" page - which is somewhat ironic considering the subject matter:
Published under the authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons
Reproduction of the proceedings of the House of Commons and its Committees, in whole or in part and in any medium, is hereby permitted provided that the reproduction is accurate and is not presented as official. This permission does not extend to reproduction, distribution or use for commercial purpose of financial gain.
Reproduction or use outside this permission or without authorization may be treated as copyright infringement in accordance with the Copyright Act. Authorization may be obtained on written application to the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Reproduction in accordance with this permission does not constitute publication under the authority of the House of Commons. The absolute privilege that applies to the proceedings of the House of Commons does not extend to these permitted reproductions. Where a reproduction includes briefs to a Standing Committee of the House of  Commons, authorization for reproduction may be required from the authors in accordance with the Copyright Act.
Nothing in this permission abrogates or derogates from the privileges, powers, immunities and rights of the House of Commons and its Committees. For greater certainty, this permission does not affect the prohibition against impeaching or questioning the proceedings of the House of Commons in courts or otherwise. The House of Commons retains the right and privilege to find users in contempt of Parliament if a reproduction or use is not in accordance with this permission.

PS - an astute reader has pointed out that the Report misspells "trade-mark" several times - notably using the American spelling "trademark" on about a dozen occasions. Some may find this, too, to be ironic - given the nature of some of the recommendations and where the ideas behind them may have originated from.

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