Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable colleagues, April 26 will mark World Intellectual Property Day. First recognized nearly 20 years ago, it offers a unique opportunity to discuss the very real need for robust intellectual property protections: patents, trademarks, copyright and similar rights.
This year’s theme is Reach for Gold: Copyright and Sports. New sports technologies enhance athletic performance. Merchandizing and licensing agreements help generate revenue. Broadcasting rights bring sport and television together, engaging fans the world over.
While not something we think about every day, intellectual property protection actually plays a huge role in our lives. New products, new inventions and new methods of manufacturing drive our economy and improve the well-being of all Canadians. Music and arts enrich our lives and help shape our future as a country. It’s not surprising that intellectual property plays a major role in international agreements and the debate in relation thereto.
I was pleased to note in last fall’s Budget Implementation Act the government made good on a pledge to enact the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act. This college will be responsible for the regulation of patent agents — patent attorneys — and trademark agents. They will be regulated just like other professions, like lawyers and engineers, that entrepreneurs might be inclined to hire. This was an initiative long promoted by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, sometimes referred to as IPIC, and its realization will be a great step forward.
Honourable senators, I’m pleased, along with IPIC, to invite you to a reception later today in room C-128, just upstairs in the Senate of Canada Building. Once again, the event will feature the work of some of Canada’s brightest secondary school students and their science projects as well as other displays highlighting the importance of intellectual property protections.
I hope you will be able to join us in room C-128 any time after 4:30 this afternoon.