Ontario Government Launches IP Agency to Support Innovators and Increase IP Value
Ontario has been taking steps to improve its conversion of innovation to intellectual property (IP). For example, a government-appointed panel held consultations with public entities in Ontario’s ecosystem that led to a February 2020 report suggesting improvements to IP literacy, increasing IP resources, accountability and structural improvements. An IP Action Plan was launched later in the year. In December 2021, the agency, ecampusOntario, began accepting submissions to develop an Ontario IP curriculum and will announce the successful Applicant in March 2022.
On March 3rd, 2022, the Ontario government took another step towards supporting the province’s innovators through the creation of a new agency: Intellectual Property Ontario. This new government agency was launched as being the “go-to resource for Intellectual Property expertise” with the express purpose of helping researchers and companies across Ontario to maximize the value of their intellectual property assets in an effort to strengthen their capacity and competitiveness in the national and international markets.
The resources to be offered by Intellectual Property Ontario include intellectual property strategy and expert advisory services, legal expertise and educational resources. Access to these resources can help market participants – from entrepreneurs to professors – innovate, protect IP, and stay competitive in an increasingly global marketplace. Another goal is to help enhance research and commercialization outcomes. This is important since, as noted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), “small- and medium-sized enterprises that own intellectual property are three times more likely to expand domestically and more than four times more likely to expand internationally”. There is also an IP Ontario Board that includes experienced members of industry.
What does this mean for innovators in Ontario?
While the specifics of the program have yet to be released, Intellectual Property Ontario will likely represent another valuable resource for innovators in the province.
Other Ontario public initiatives are also trying to ensure that the economic and commercial benefits of provincial innovations remain in Ontario. Among these concurrent initiatives is free access to digital education modules on the value of protecting intellectual property which can be accessed through a University of Toronto web site.
We will continue to keep you up to date on further developments by Intellectual Property Ontario.