IP, Data, and Digital Platform Governance: Notes from the 5th Annual IP Data & Research Conference

Jasmine Yu is an IPilogue Writer and a 1L JD Candidate at the University of Toronto.

This article is part of a series covering the 5th Annual IP Data & Research Conference, hosted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

The sixth session of the 5th Annual IP Data & Research Conference, hosted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (“CIGI”), centered around IP, data, and digital platform governance. The two-part session was moderated by Michael Falk (director of the Office of the Chief Economist at IP Australia). It kicked off with a presentation on standards used in data ecosystems, followed by a panel discussion on the value of data and the processes involved in building collaborative ecosystems.

Falk’s opening remarks set the stage for this truly enlightening session. Over the past couple of years, our reliance on digital platforms has greatly increased, transforming how we do business and conduct our lives. This revolution has made data ecosystems and international standards all the more important.

Part I: Presentation

The first presentation was delivered by Sean Martineau (acting director and research economist at the CIPO) and Keith Jansa (executive director of the CIO Strategy Council).

They first highlighted several trends in intellectual property:

  • Intangible assets’ growing importance
  • Increased IP filings within the past two decades, both internationally and in Canada
  • Growth in standard essential patents (“SEPs”) across the world, by country, and by individual standard setting organizations (“SSOs”)

Moving into a discussion on standards, they noted that standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements and, at times, modernize public policy. It is fascinating how standards are so integrated with our daily lives. The device you are reading this article on interacts with multiple technologies, implicating hundreds of SEPs! Some organization collects profits from licensing, and others to write cheques as cost to market each time that you use your device!

Jansa emphasized the importance of recognizing standards’ significance, the levers and process of standard development, and the impact that standards may have on advancing innovation.  

Part II: Panel

 The subsequent three-person panel consisted of Evegueni Loukipoudis (strategic advisor at Digital Technology Supercluster), Peter Cowan (co-founder, director, and CEO advisor at Innovation Asset Collective, and principle consultant at Northworks IP), and Karima Bawa (strategic advisor on IP at Digital Technology Supercluster and senior fellow at the CIGI).

Loukipoudis kickstarted the panel with a discussion on the value of data, which he noted depends at least partly on who the user is, what they know about the data, and what they can do with it.

Cowan, on the other hand, discussed the importance of institutions having data strategy and proper infrastructure in place to collect, store, process, and use data properly. He also expressed concern for the inadequate literacy on data strategy in Canada.

Bawa focused largely on the legal aspect of data use. Data has become increasingly commercialized, with more entities entering into data-sharing arrangements to yield value out of data. She advised (informally!) parties in data-sharing arrangements to be aware of considerations such as the rights that stakeholders have over the data, regulatory compliance, management of cyber-attacks with limiting liability clauses, and how the data is accessed, stored, and guarded. Bawa also noted that it is wise to be circumspect with who you share data with, and how you share it.

 Conclusion

As the space-time continuum continues to shrink in our rapidly evolving world, data, standards, and privacy become even more important. The sixth session of the 5th Annual IP Data & Research Conference rounded off a day of excellent presentations and discussions.

For start-ups, aspiring IP specialists, or those simply interested in IP strategy, check out this free resource by CIGI: the CIGI Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Foundations of IP Strategy, co-created by Karima Bawa.

If you missed the conference, be sure to take a look at the materials shared by the presenters HERE (also available in French).

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