Sheridan Scott, the Commissioner of Competition, has recently stated that, together with Industry Canada and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the Competition Bureau has commissioned a review paper of several major issues arising at the interface between competition law and intellectual property law. This project will include a top level symposium early in 2007.
The issues identified by the Commissioner at this time will clearly be viewed as significant in a variety of industries that heavily invest in innovation. The issues under review include:
Authorized generic drugs – the extent to which brand-name pharmaceutical companies have launched authorized generics, and the impact this may have had on the entry of other generics.
Collective management of copyright –does the current system of copyright collectives minimize transaction costs and encourage new works?
Official marks – the impact of the current system on competition, and whether competition principles can improve the system.
IP rights extension – the ways in which firms have attempted to extend their IP rights.
Compulsory licensing – do the current statutory provisions meet their legislative intent? What alternatives are available?
Tying – when can bundling practices extend IP protection and block innovation?
International context – a comparison of Canada’s patent regime with its international obligations, and consideration of whether the current regime could be improved.
Innovation is obviously a very important part of the economy. IP rights and competition principles can in some cases conflict, or be difficult to reconcile. The Commissioner’s interest in developing a better understanding of these issues can only be viewed as positive. However, there is much room for debate on most if not all of the above issues and interested parties – particularly innovation-based businesses – will want to follow this closely.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide
to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The Commissioner of Competition addressed innovation, enforcement and policy initiatives at the Competition Bureau in his keynote speech, "Strengthening Competition: Innovation, Collaboration and Transparency."
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.'s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).