Curtis: Should Canada treat its intellectual property as a national asset?

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October 10, 2011

Yes, Canada should treat its intellectual property as both a national and an international asset in the interest of improving human health, achievement, and prosperity world-wide. A well-modulated intellectual property framework of policies, laws, regulations, and enforcement provisions are a necessary, although not sufficient, element of innovation and creativity to keep an economy such as Canada’s—and the world economy more generally—at the leading edge.

To make full use of intellectual property as an asset, other structural factors affecting potential supply of new and improved goods and services will have to be in place at the same time. These other factors include the degree of openness of various countries, the amount of competition in each economy and in the world more generally, tax policies, the quality and quantity of labour, the structure and amount of funding of research and development (R &D), relevant institutions, and, importantly, the willingness and capacity of each society to create and to adapt and absorb new ideas, technologies, cultural influences, and techniques.