The Quebec government pioneered its "First Patent
Program", which was launched in July 2015, in order to
encourage small to mid-size businesses to protect their
intellectual property. Under this program, certain businesses will
be eligible to have the provincial government subsidize part of the
incurred expense from acquiring their first patent. This initiative
is extremely promising, particularly in supporting the growth of
young corporations. In fact, a US study conducted by the Office of
Chief Economist of the USPTO demonstrated a positive economic
impact on startup companies that were given an allowance for their
first patent. The results included a 52% increase in sales and a
36% increase in employment.
Other provinces have followed; the Government of Ontario intends
to finance their new Scale-Up Voucher Program to facilitate the
growth of high-impact companies. Notably, one of the possible uses
of these vouchers is to fund protection of intellectual property.
British Columbia offers an International Business Activity tax
refund for International Patent Businesses, but has yet to
implement a supporting program that effectively targets first-time
The Intellectual Property Institute of Canada encouraged the
federal government to fund a program similar to that of Quebec. In
fact, this was one of the recommendations made in the December 2016
Report of the Standing Committee on Finance. Hopefully small and
medium-sized businesses all over Canada will soon be able to
benefit from federal intellectual property protection services for
first time patentees.
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Materials from a recent "refresher training" for examiners at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) highlight inconsistencies between CIPO's examination practices and Supreme Court precedent.
In this recently reported decision, the Court granted Apotex leave to deliver Fresh as Amended Responding Statement of Issues for the reference into AstraZeneca's damages or Apotex's profits, following the Court's decision that the ‘693 Patent is valid and infringed by Apotex.
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