Ontario panel urges action to capture economic benefits of intellectual property

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TORONTO — A new report says Ontario needs to do more to make sure the economic benefits of intellectual property produced in the province are captured.

The expert panel chaired by Jim Balsillie says intellectual property is a crucial and increasingly large driver of economic prosperity, and that the province is slipping behind in GDP per capita and other measures partly due to a lack of attention to the area.

The report says post-secondary institutions and other IP creators in the province don’t have high enough levels of understanding around intellectual property, with current educational resources voluntary and inaccessible.

The panel recommends that the government set up a standardized online course so that those receiving public funds for “entrepreneurial activities” can better understand how to secure intellectual property and why that’s important.

Other recommendations include establishing a centralized provincial resource for IP information and guidance, appointing a special advisor to set up a system to make sure those receiving public funds can generate IP for the benefit of the economy, and creating clear mandates in organizations on their roles and responsibilities in generating IP for the province.

The Ontario government-commissioned panel, which hosted public consultations and an online survey, says these moves can help boost Ontario’s prosperity and increase its competitiveness for “generations to come.”

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