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British Columbia Looks to Protect Provincial Innovation Through New Strategy

March 8, 2024


Industry leaders have reportedly been voicing their concerns about Canada’s management of intellectual property (IP). BlackBerry co-founder Jim Balsillie reportedly noted that Canada’s innovation issues have less to do with the ingenuity (or lack thereof) of its entrepreneurs than the country’s inadequate IP management framework. As Balsillie saw it, the crux of the issue was a national lack of institutional training on IP law at both the corporate and university levels.

British Columbia is the latest province to unveil a strategy to address this potential gap and protect the benefits of IP generated in the province. To promote the use of IP by more businesses and increase the sustainability and capacity of innovation in B.C., the new IP Strategy will focus on three key goals:  

  • increasing IP awareness and literacy;

  • creating a virtual IP hub for IP resources in B.C.; and

  • ensuring provincial programs are IP smart, protecting B.C. investments.

The IP Strategy, one of the central focuses of the BC provincial government’s StrongerBC Economic Plan, will see the province allocate $2.5 million in funding to deliver tools and resources aimed at providing IP education for the province’s start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises. The intention is for this funding to supplement the federal government’s ElevateIP program, which recently awarded $12.5 million to AccelerateIP, an initiative which focuses on supporting IP training for start-ups.

The BC provincial government hopes that these resources will ultimately make it easier for entrepreneurs to comprehend and navigate the complex financial and legal dimensions of IP. 


Authors: Roy Friedman and Arash Rouhi


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