Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Report: Intellectual Property Laws in Canada

Report: Intellectual Property Laws in Canada

Laws and Regulations

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) adminstrates federal laws reviewed and modified by The Intellectual Property Policy Directorate. Full texts of regulations are linked and available at the Department of Justice.

Full descriptions of the Patent Act are described for novel inventions which are useful or display inventive ingenuity. Patents give the inventor the ability prevent people from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of twenty years after date of patent application filing. Patented Medicines Regulations are included at another web link.

The Copyright Act is fully revealed as it applies to any or all works of literature, art, drama or musical compositions such as computer programs, and give the creators sole rights to make or copy their works in any form. Performances and sound recordings are also copyright protected. This protection extends for the life of the author and an additional fifty years. Performances and sound recordings are limited to fifty years. Description of Copyright Board certifications of tariffs or royalties payable for certain uses of copyright materials are also listed.

The Trade-marks Act provides protection for words, symbols, designs, or combinations of these, used to identify the products or services of a single person or an organization from others in the business community. Registration of trade-mark permits exclusive rights to use across Canada for fifteen years, and is renewable every following fifteen years.

The Industrial Design Act describes ownership rights for shapes, patterns or ornamentations on mass-produced items. This prevents others from making, using, renting or selling these designs in Canada for a period of ten years.

The Integrated Circuit Topography Act is described as it protects three-dimensional configurations of materials forming integrated circuits. Ten years of protection enable registered owners to exclude competitors from copying or using it in manufactured products.

Many new plant or "franken-food" varieties of genetically modified seed are protected and described under the Plant Breeders' Rights Act which is administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The website also provides: updates on intellectual property policies, information regarding intellectual property policies (IPP), listing of current Issues, documents of interest, press releases, international treaties, links of interest and archives.

Of particular interest is the proactive disclosure link relating to travel and expenses of government officials which proved impossible to open.

Finally, The Friendly Giant, an inoffensive and long-running childrens program in Canada, provides an eye-opening example of intellectual property rights laws infringement concerning Bob Homme, his estate, and the inappropriate depiction of puppets Rusty and Jerome in a CBC parody in 2007 which cost the CBC Museum some of its most popular display assets. The poor taste clip and the complete story appears at the torontoist.

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