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Recent Developments in Intellectual Property: New Initiatives for IP Strategy and Management


New initiatives have recently been introduced at the provincial, national, and international levels highlighting the importance of intellectual property strategy to the growth and success of Canadian businesses.

New International Framework for IP Management (ISO Standard 56005:2020)

In November 2020, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released a new publication, “Innovation management – Tools and methods for intellectual property management – Guidance” (ISO Standard 56005:2020). This new international framework is designed to help businesses achieve sustained and long-term success through efficient IP management.

The framework appears to provide a formalized system for companies to conduct IP audits and implement strategies based the results of that audit. The framework sets out guidelines and addresses issues to support businesses in their IP management at the strategic and operational levels. Highlights include:

  • Guidelines to help a business identify its IP goals, develop an IP strategy and implement that strategy
  • A breakdown of IP management through the various stages of the innovation process, including opportunity identification, concept creation, solution development and implementation
  • Practical tools and methods for recording and disclosing inventions, filing for registrations, assessing IP value, risk management, and exploitation

This publication can be purchased at ISO’s website.

Canadian implementation is underway. In December 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) announced a collaboration to offer education, training and certification programs based on this new framework.

Intellectual Property Ontario

On March 3, 2022, the Ontario government announced the creation of Intellectual Property Ontario, a new provincial agency dedicated to providing Ontario businesses with access to IP strategy advice, legal expertise, and educational resources.

The Ontario government created the new agency as part of the Intellectual Property Action Plan announced in July 2020 to boost the province’s long-term economic competitiveness by prioritizing the generation, protection and commercialization of IP. The agency is intended to serve a wide range of IP creators, including businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, and postsecondary institutions.

Although the agency has not yet launched, its webpage states that it will offer:

  • IP education and awareness through online courses and curricula
  • IP strategy and expert advisory services to help clients develop effective IP strategies and management
  • Legal solutions to help clients generate and protect their IP rights

Stay tuned for updates on Intellectual Property Ontario’s launch.

CIPO’s IP Strategy Online Learning Module

CIPO recently published a new online learning module called “Plan for success – Build an IP strategy” as part of its “IP Academy” series.

This compliments CIPO’s existing “IP Foundations Series” of modules which provides education on trademarks, patents, copyright, and industrial designs.

The new module is directed specifically to developing IP strategy and provides guidance on how to develop, grow, monetize, and leverage IP assets. It includes explanations about what an IP strategy is and how it can drive a business’s growth; a step-by-step guide on how a business can create its own IP strategy; and best practices to help a business manage its IP assets and avoid common pitfalls.

The module can be viewed for free at CIPO’s online learning modules portal.

Key Takeaways

These initiatives emphasize the importance of robust IP strategy to business growth and competitiveness. Each offers a different form of support to IP creators.

The Cassels Intellectual Property team offers a full range of services to help businesses maximize the value of their IP, including conducting IP audits, assisting with the creation and implementation of an IP strategy, the protection of IP rights, and enforcement actions.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It does not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about the initiatives described in this article, or about developing your own IP strategy, please reach out to Mark Davis, Chandimal Nicholas, Kassandra Shortt, Steven Henderson or any member of our Intellectual Property Group for assistance.