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Hi, I'm Stan Muller. This is Crash Course and today we begin our miniseries on Intellectual Property. Hey, isn't the entire concept of Intellectual Property illegitimate? I mean, how can we justify locking up the world of science and arts so corporations, publishing houses and other gatekeepers can control what we know and what we think! Information wants to be free, man! Hey, me from the past! There's a Stan from the past! This is great! Stan: Hey! Me from the past! There's a Stan from the past, this is great! Anyway. I can tell by looking at your vacant and bloodshot eyes that you've been up all night downloading Chumbawumba records over a dialup connection. I remember those days, and I remember desperately trying to cling to any ethos that justified your rampant copyright infringement. That is if you ever participated in such activities. And even if you had participated in said infringing activities, the statute of limitations has likely run out. I don't even know what LimeWire is! [Theme Music] I like how this is getting started, because Stan from the past raises some interesting points! There's a good chance that he, and a lot of you watching this video, might think about aspects of Intellectual Property as outdated and pretty much irrelevant. Maybe lots of you don't think of it at all! That line, "Information wants to be free", has been used to argue that current intellectual properly laws are outdated, over-broad and generally awful. The quotation is attributed to Stewart Brand and he said this to a group of computer programmers in 1984. "On the one hand Information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other." The full quote, which you hardly ever hear, actually spells out the major tension between intellectual property and technology quite well. And it did it more than 30 years ago, when the digital age was just beginning. As information technology becomes more and more pervasive and important in our day-to-day lives in the information society, information itself becomes exponentially more important and more valuable. Paradoxically, as our information technology improves, and as our computers and connections get better and faster, and sharing becomes easier, we're less able to control the copying and dissemination of this incredibly valuable information. The law of supply and demand pushes down the information's value. This tension is nothing new. Technology, especially in the context of copyright law, has always presented challenges. Socrates's and Plato's 'Phaedrus' bemoaned the advent of books, arguing that they "will implant forgetfulness in [human beings'] souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks." One way that humans have attempted to deal with these new technologies, with varying success, is by passing laws. The scourge of the piano roll was contemplated in the 1909 Copyright Act, the photocopier in 1976, and the Internet was covered in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But we're going to try to avoid this simplified intellectual property versus technology binary. The idea that we have to choose between devaluing the fruits of intellectual talent and labor, or devaluing the revolutionary information sharing capacity of our networks, is wrong-headed. The more interesting and more difficult question is how we can strike a balance; how we can incentivize and promote this revolution in the way we share information, while at the same time incentivizing and promoting the production of creative works and inventions by having respect for the human beings that actually created them. The difference between today's debates and those that took place 100 years ago is that intellectual property pervades our lives more and more every day. This is especially true for anyone viewing this video. I know that about 90% of you view Crash Course in a web browser, so consider the layers of IP in this very YouTube page. A lot of what you're looking at is covered by copyright. This video, for example, is covered as a motion picture work. The website itself is considered a literary work. The Thought Bubble, the theme song, and the video you watched right before this one, all have copyright protection. The software that streams the video is also a literary work. The web browser you're using is most likely registered as a computer program, as is the operating system. Lest you Linux weirdos think that you don't have a copyright on your OS: You do. You're just not enforcing it. Even your comments could be covered by copyright. That haiku you just posted: "Who is this person? What happened to Mr. Green? Dislike. Unsubscribe." That's copyright-able! When you agreed to this [image of YouTube user agreement], you granted YouTube a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use your content in any way they see fit. There are also patents in play here. There's proprietary video streaming technology, and many of the components in your computer are patented. But wait! There's more! YouTube is a registered trademark, and if you saw an ad before this video, there was most likely a trademark in there. This is a trademark and under this sticker is an image of a piece of fruit, also a trademark. And behind the camera, our most precious and valuable mark, Mark Olsen. Mark Olsen, everybody! The search algorithm that got you here? That's a trade secret. My appearance in this video, and subsequent marketing of commemorative mugs with my likeness fixed on each one- that implicates my right of publicity. If you're watching this on an iPhone or an Android, there's a whole other world of copyrights and patents that apply. When you start to deconstruct it like this, it's dizzying. But despite all this complexity, most of the time the system moves along with a fluidity that sometimes makes it easy to put it out of your mind. Kind of like the internal functioning of your digestive tract. But it's there. Always there. Gurgling and churning and functioning. Did anybody order lunch? Now most of this fluidity and seamlessness is borne on the back of hundreds or thousands of lawsuits, many of them against Google, thousands of pages of intricately complex contracts, and hundreds of millions of take down notices. The point is that none of us, or very few of us, can go about our daily lives without being impacted by intellectual property. It's only when it hits home, like when you receive that cease-and-desist letter from a trademark attorney for opening a restaurant called Burger Queen, or digital rights management software stops you from listening to your iTunes downloads on your Zune. Maybe your YouTube video gets taken down because of that T-Swizzie song in the background (that's what the kids call Taylor Swift). Maybe you get a letter from your internet service provider, informing you that someone using your account has downloaded every episode of Game of Thrones and that if it keeps up you may be fined or imprisoned- or beheaded! That's when it flares up. Flare up! God, are we still on the digestive tract metaphor? Somebody get me a Tums. Tums, by the way, registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies. Most of us encounter IP only on its borders. We hear horror stories about the motion picture and recording industry suing grandmothers. We watch those unskippable FBI messages warning us about the consequences of copyright infringement, or we complain about paying thousands of dollars per pill for medicine. We tend to encounter intellectual property law in places where we, as users, are basically being told 'no'. And being told 'no' over and over again is irritating, especially when these "no's" don't seem to make any sense. And they're really irritating when they come with threats of fines or imprisonment. So in this course we're going to focus less on enforcement and the "no's" and more on the part of intellectual property that often says 'yes', 'sometimes', 'maybe', 'it is certain', or even 'ask again later'. I'm speaking, of course, of the "Liquid filled die agitator containing a die having raised indicia on the facets thereof", registered as patent US 3119621, which you might know as the Magic 8-Ball. Before we get too far, we should probably define intellectual property. This is going to get pretty abstract, so let's go to the Thought Bubble. The theoretical definition of intellectual property would begin by saying that it is: "Nonphysical property that stems from, is identified as, and whose value is based on an idea or some ideas." There has to be some element of novelty; the thing that we describe as intellectual property can't be commonplace, or generally known, in the society where it's created, at the time that it becomes property. You can't claim that you invented the wheel or that you wrote Moby Dick. Even though the source material for all IP is social -- the inputs are our education, our human interactions, and basically all the sensory data around us that we take in -- the thing that we call 'IP' is the product of us putting together all these social inputs into something that we're gonna call "the idea". "Only the concrete, tangible, or physical embodiments of the idea are protected by intellectual property law." The idea has to be fixed into a form and location in which humans have access to it. That could be a novel, or a logo, or a liquid filled die agitator containing a die having raised indicia on the facets thereof. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So in its purest and best form, IP is the propertization of intellectual effort and talent. In its most corrupt and worst form, intellectual property can be, and has been used by the propertied and powerful to protect concentrated markets and broken business models. At its very worst, it can be used a a censorship tool. Intellectual property differs somewhat from real property like cars or houses because it's limited in duration and scope. For example, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Copyrighted works can be copied under the fair use exception for certain personal or publicly beneficial uses. Let's say a book reviewer quotes long passages of a novel, then pans the book. It's likely the author of the book wouldn't grant permission for this type of use. But we want to encourage informed public discourse. So there's a good chance it would be found to be a fair use. Patent laws carved out a limited experimental use exception that permits minimal use of a patent for amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity, or for strictly philosophical inquiry. Again, the patent owner probably wouldn't like this, but the law wants to encourage individual tinkering. Both these limitations exist to serve the primary objective of intellectual property: that's to promote the progress of science and useful arts by increasing our stock of knowledge. So in this series, we're going to focus on the 3 main branches of intellectual property: copyrights, patents, and trademarks. We won't have time to get into some of the lesser cousins of the family like trade secrets or the right of publicity, but all of these are included under the umbrella of intellectual property. So in the coming weeks we're going to try to get at some of the nuts and bolt of what intellectual property is, because like it or not, IP is only going to become more and more relevant as our lives become more and more digital. So regardless of what or how you feel about any aspect of IP, it's probably a good idea to have some basic knowledge of it. It doesn't matter if you're a consumer or a creator of protected content or both. Is understanding IP going to help you? You may rely on it. See you next week. Crash Course: Intellectual Property is filmed in the Chad and Stacey Emigholz here in sunny Indianapolis, Indiana, and it's made with the help of all of these nice workers for hire. If you'd like to help us make Crash Course in a monetary way that doesn't imply any ownership in the final work, you can subscribe at Patreon, a voluntary subscription service where you can support Crash Course and help make it free for everyone forever. You can get great perks, but the greatest perk of all is the satisfaction of spreading knowledge. Right? So thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.
Hi, I'm Stan Muller, and this is the final episode of Crash Course Intellectual Property. Tackling such a huge subject in only seven episodes has meant that we can't go into quite as much detail as we'd like, but hopefully we've given you a pretty good overview of the basics of Intellectual Property. We spent the last six episodes talking about copyright, patent, and trademark laws as they currently exist, but we keep running into a roadblock. Intellectual Property law is slow to change, and we're living in a world that's changing pretty rapidly. As we've noted again and again, our new digital world has raised challenges for both consumers and producers of IP. So today, we're going to look at some of the problems that have developed in recent years with Intellectual Property. We're also going to talk about IP as it applies to everyone's favorite internet media hub, YouTube, and we're even going to look into the future. I mean, we've got this liquid-filled dye agitator containing a dye with raised indicia on the facets thereof. This thing tells the future, right? It is certain! [Theme Music] So YouTube's kind of a big deal. It has over a billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours of video and generates billions and billions of views. At the time we made this, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube's servers every minute, and in its ten year history, YouTube has become the audiovisual wing in Google's attempt to build its archive of everything. YouTube is truly vast, and it'll continue to grow. It's arguably the most important tool for speech and entertainment on the internet, and we think it's probably the world's greatest and most transformative teaching and learning tool. But as great as YouTube is, in a lot of ways, it's kind of a mess. When over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute, 24 hours a day, some of it's not going to be that great. While it's kind of amazing and radically democratic that individual vloggers and makers of cat videos and those videos where they just open the toys and look at them get to publish their videos side by side with huge media companies, some creators are concerned that their creative work is cheapened and becomes just another piece of content that gets lost amidst the junk, and people aren't just uploading their own content. Very often, people use this service to share material they didn't create, so for pretty much the entirety of YouTube's 10 year existence, it's been getting sued. In early 2007, Viacom opened the floodgates, served over 100,000 take down notices, and sued YouTube for $1 billion. Sports leagues, music publishers, and other copyright owners all filed class action suits based on the same theory: YouTube and Google should be held liable for the copyright infringements committed by YouTube users. The issue here was whether YouTube complied with Section 512 of The Copyright Act, which was added in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. The DMCA sets out safe harbors to protect Internet Service Providers or ISPs from unreasonable liability. Basically, certain ISPs have to block or remove infringing content that it's aware of, or for which it receives a valid notice. DMCA safe harbors protect Internet Service Providers that comply with certain conditions when they're engaged in one of four covered activities. The first activity is when they're acting as 'mere conduits', like the pipes of the internet, for example, Comcast, Verizon Fios, or Google Fiber. The second activity is caching content, like Google does. The third activity is hosting user-generated content, like YouTube, and the fourth is acting as an information location tool or search engine, like Google or Bing. The problem is, Congress came up with these categories in 1998, which is like 80 years ago in internet years. The DMCA doesn't fit neatly with new categories of online services including peer-to-peer sharing, torrents, and cloud storage. The DMCA is due for an upgrade. Let's take a closer look at the notice and takedown provision of the DMCA in the Thought Bubble. So ISPs don't have to actively monitor for infringement, but they do have to act if they know about infringing content. ISPs know there's infringing content on their system when they receive a takedown notice or when they're independently aware of it through either actual knowledge or where it's obvious infringing activity is going on. This is called 'red flag knowledge.' Copyright owners and ISPs complain that the notice and takedown system isn't working. Rights holders complain that the system only works for large corporate entities. Individuals and small businesses can't afford to constantly monitor for infringement and send thousands of notices. Also the DMCA requires that content be taken down only from the specific location or URL identified in the notice. Once infringing content, like Interstellar posted on YouTube, is taken down, it just gets reposted in a different location. Copyright owners call it the whack-a-mole problem. ISPs complain that the volume of takedown notices is overwhelming. Google started keeping track of the take down notices over the past several years. The number has increased from about a 130,000 URLs per week in 2011 to nearly 10 million per week in 2015. Lots of these notices are sent using automated systems, which sometimes leads to erroneously removed content that doesn't and can't take into account the fact that the use might be fair. Also, there is some evidence that the take down system is being abused as a censorship tool, as in the case where some candidates' political advertisements have been targeted for removal during the days leading up to a campaign, or as in the case of video game companies flagging unfavorable reviews as infringing content. Thanks Thought Bubble. Now to get back to the Viacom v YouTube case, the issue really centered around whether YouTube had knowledge that infringing content was being posted to the site, and whether it induced users to post such content. In 2012, the second circuit court of appeals held that in order for YouTube to lose its safe harbor protections, it must have knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity. So although YouTube was probably generally aware that infringing content was being uploaded because of the sheer volume of video being posted and the fact they were being sued by a lot of people who were loudly pointing out that a lot of this content was infringing, Viacom couldn't show that YouTube knew about specific infringing content and ignored it. After yet another appeal, Viacom and YouTube settled the case in March of 2014. One big reason for that settlement may have been YouTube's 2012 development of the content I.D. system. With content I.D., YouTube allows certain copyright owners to upload their content into a database of protected material. YouTube scans the uploaded content looking for a match in the database. When there is a match, rights holders can elect to either block or remove the offending material, or monetize the video by running ads against it. Though content I.D. seems to have slowed all the litigation, it's kind of really upset the YouTube user community. Critics point out that the automated system can censor fair uses of protected content and sometimes unfairly flag certain videos. Others claim that the system doesn't go far enough, arguing that YouTube gamed the DMCA in rapidly evolving markets to turn a billion dollar lawsuit into a lucrative business deal, and that YouTube should be more proactive in ferreting out infringing content. In any case, it appears that content I.D. is here to stay into the foreseeable future, and there are probably several settlement agreements that require its existence anyway. For the time being, content I.D. will continue to chip away at some YouTubers incomes, which leads us to the issue of monetizing YouTube videos. It's not an incredibly easy thing to do. The difficulties inherent in generating income on YouTube become more complex when you talk about freebooting, which is the unauthorized copying of online content and rehosting it on another website. Unlike linking, sharing, or embedding the file where the original creator is credited and paid for any views that take place, the freebooted file is actually downloaded and reposted on another site where it generates revenue. Our friend Destin at Smarter Every Day made an excellent video about it that you should watch. Freebooting is kind of interesting; the companies that are hosting these infringing videos have something of a perverse incentive to slow down the DMCA takedown process. The longer the video is up of their site, the more views and revenues it generates. While they're observing the letter of the law and eventually taking the stuff down, it seems a little fishy to me. In any case, the compensation structure of YouTube is often at odds with the incentive structure of copyright law. Authors are granted exclusive rights for a limited time so they may financially benefit from their creation either through sale of copies or licensing access to the work. But this limited grant of exclusive rights becomes less limited all the time as copyright term is extended and extended further into the future. Speaking of the future, let's wrap things up with a little futurism. We're gonna look at a few problems with current intellectual property law, and we're gonna talk a bit about what the future might look like. We painted a pretty rosy picture of trademark law, and at its core it is a consumer protection measure that really does function pretty well. We all have to buy things, but trademark law makes sure we can more easily locate and buy the things we actually want and need, but owners sometimes overreach and abuse the system. Trademarks are everywhere, and for better or worse, they've taken on such a level of importance to our day-to-day lives that it's impossible to Photoshop out every soda bottle or shirt logo in our videos. And by the way, Photoshop is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated, not a generic term for digital photo editing. And even if our old friend T-Swizzie registers phrases like "this sick beat" and other lines from her songs, it's not that worrisome. Trademark registrations don't give owners the right to dictate how a phrase or mark is used. Trademarks become problematic when owners try to use them to restrain speech, like where a restaurant threatens the author of a bad Yelp review with trademark infringement. So, patents are a little more of a mess. A lot of recently issued patents are for inventions that are unoriginal, vague, over-broad, or so unclear that bad actors can easily use them to threaten innovation. For example, patents have been issued to basic technologies like sending and receiving of streaming audio and video over the internet, voice over IP systems, and real-time multiplayer games. To me, all of these seem like basic building blocks for other products. These bad patents seem to serve no function besides generating license fees and curbing innovation. This is really the case with software patents, where inventions can be as abstract as a single click to purchase a book or the idea of sorting your Facebook friends into groups. Patent trolls are non-practicing entities that take advantage of these vague patents by filing vague legal complaints. Even if you've closely read the patent and you know your stuff, it's kind of hard to figure out how you've infringed the thing. There is patent troll legislation currently pending in the House that would require companies bringing lawsuits to use greater detail in their documents, and there's actually a good chance that this patent troll legislation is going to pass next year. Okay, so we spend a lot of time on copyright in this series because we encounter it so often in our day-to-day lives. It's simply inescapable, and judging from the comments you posted, a lot of you really hate it. Law professor Jane Ginsburg has an idea of how copyright lost it, and got a bad name. She attributes it to "Greed. Corporate greed and consumer greed." Corporate owners trying to increase earnings have lobbied for and gotten more protective legislation that extends the term of copyright and interferes with the development of consumer-friendly copying technologies. Consumers want to share content and get stuff for free, and they feel that any law or enforcement mechanism that gets in the way of what they can do with their own equipment in their own homes is illegitimate, and it's a threat to the public interest. Copyright owners argue that there are now so many creators that strong exclusive rights are the best way to promote the public interest. So one thing I've noticed in the comments is that you guys think copyright term is way too long. Well, there's evidence to back this belief up. Fewer than 11% of copyrights registered between 1883 and 1964 were renewed at the end of their 28-year term. Even though renewing didn't cost very much. So back when stuff could move to the public domain, copyright owners let 89% of their works lapse, because the works no longer had any economic value, or the authors just didn't care anymore. In our current system, the copyright term is automatically life plus 70 years with no renewal requirement. But a similar percentage of today's copyright-protected works will likely be neglected and forgotten about within a few decades, or even a few years of their creation. The only difference is that they're still protected by copyright. This creates a huge body of work that's under protection, but where the author or owner often can't be found to grant permission for use. There are called "orphan works." Good-faith users that want to make use of these works can't find the owner, can't get permission, and therefore face the risk that they'll be sued if the owner does eventually step forward. The copyright office is advocating for legislation that will limit liability for good-faith users of orphan works who've at least made some attempt to find the owner. This legislation also might create a framework for the private sector to develop rights clearance mechanisms that will make it easier for creators to use copyrighted work. It's possible that Congress may consider introducing legislation along these lines in the coming years, but you know how Congress is. There are also some really interesting private initiatives that have tried to address the super-long copyright term. Organizations like Creative Commons and copyleft have attempted to let creators choose how their work can be used by others, and these movements have gained some traction. It's hard not to just argue that the term should be shorter, but that's really hard to do. Changing US law requires the revision and maybe renegotiation of all these international treaties that further entrench the life-plus-70 term, and the US is signing more of these treaties all the time, so unfortunately, the life-plus-70 term is here to stay. So I may have given the impression here that intellectual property law is a stinking cesspool of greed and confusion, but I'm going to argue that there is some value here. The basic notions--that individual authors should be rewarded for their creative efforts, that inventors should profit from their inventions, and that manufacturers of goods should be able to market their products without fear that knockoffs will appear on supermarket shelves--these are all good ideas. Maybe you think they're not, but I believe that we as a society can't neglect our creators and innovators. We also can't allow outdated laws to prevent technological innovation and progress. The trick, as always, is striking a balance, a combination of strong exclusive rights for authors and inventors, and equally strong exceptions and limitations that allow for creators to build on work that came before. Is this possible? "Reply hazy. Ask again later." Well, there you have it. As usual on Crash Course, there are no answers, only more questions. Next week, we're going to start looking at questions around the world economy with Crash Course: Economics. Thanks for watching. Crash Course: Intellectual Property is filmed at the Chad and Stacey Emigholz Studio in Indianapolis, Indiana; it's made by all of these nice workers-for-hire. If you'd like to keep Crash Course freely available for everyone forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love. Speaking of Patreon, we'd like to thank all of our supporters in general, and specifically thank our Headmaster of Learning, Thomas Frank, and our Vice Principals, Kathy and Tim Philip, and Linnea Boyev. You can get awesome material awards for your support, but I know that's not why you're in this thing, you're in it for the greatest reward of all, which is helping people learn. Thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.
(Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Good afternoon everyone, thank you for joining us for our Ask Me Anything session today. At Communitech we are working hard to bring you business as virtual as much as possible while supporting our members the best way we can. My name is Ian McDonald, I'm the Chief Customer Officer at Communitech. I'm very excited to have uh very two very esteemed panelists with us today to answer your questions as we discuss why need to expand our concept of intellectual property beyond technical IP in isolation but rather to view the role and the value of technical market and process IP together before I introduce Alexis and Charles, I have a few housekeeping items as you'd expect that I need to cover. First is a reminder that this session is being recorded so it can be shared at a later date as a resource for our companies. You can find all of our Ask Me Anything recordings at Communitech.ca. Second, there are a few controls. It should be in the top right hand of your screen that you can use to customize how you view the panelists and experience the session. Today terms of the Ask Me Anything, we've had a ton of questions submitted in advance which is great uh it'll make for a terrific conversation today. We invite you to contribute to the discussion with more questions by using the Q&A function. You'll see that at the bottom of the screen. We'll cover as many questions as we can in our limited time together. Last if you're interested in following up after the session or to discuss this topic further please connect with your Communitech Advisor or your Customer Success Manager and they can connect you with Charles or Alexis and also please check Your Week in Tech or your Start and Scale newsletters that's where you'll find a list of upcoming Ask Me Anything sessions. So with that, on with the session and with our experts first Alexis Conrad Black is deeply passionate about her role as an IP advisor and educator with the Canadian government at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. In 2018, her contributions earned her a Deputy Minister's Award of Merit for the programming developed specifically for IP education in Canada. Recently Alexis was recognized as the only trailblazer from Canada in World IP Review's Influential Women in IP for 2020. So those are both some significant distinctions. Charles Plant is a serial entrepreneur, he's an innovation economist, a university lecturer as well as a consultant. Probably he's most well known as the founder of the Narwhal Project where he conducts research and what it takes to create world-class tech companies. Charles has written more than 35 research papers including a book entitled "Triggers and Barriers: A Customer Perspective on Innovation" and he's currently working on his second book "Unicorn Math: Developing an Algorithm for Rapid Growth". Now Charles and Alexis, before we get into the questions can you expand a bit on your backgrounds and perspectives as we get into the conversation today. Alexis do you want to go first? (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Sure um I guess my perspective and my background is I've been with sql for the past five years, five and a quarter years, prior to that I worked for two of Canada's largest uh corporate law firms uh both of which uh still have a significant contribution in the IP space um my job there basically was to help um, especially the first term I was with, to help them expand on their intellectual property client business so I became intimately familiar with uh educational materials and what we were doing to try to encourage more people to participate in the subject matter and at the time I was really encouraged by some thought leaders that worked at both of those firms to kind of follow my passion to figure out exactly what entrepreneurs, uh founders and innovators and executives were looking for and what they needed. Sometimes they didn't always know when it came to IP business strategy education and thanks to a couple of those individuals I was convinced to take a job uh or to apply for a job at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office where I am today uh where my goal was to use a non-biased lens to help um educate Canadian innovators and founders and executives on IP business strategy specifically which is what I do today. So my perspective tends to come from an unbiased lens um and as well as from an overall betterment of our innovation economy that really is our end goal at the end of the day through IP in Canada. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Well very valuable Alexis, certainly from my experience uh you know in early stage companies uh and doing a fair amount of IP work myself and those companies um value, very much value, that experience so thank you for your time today. Charles over to you. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) So you know I tell this every time I give a talk, I spent 15 years as a co-founder and CEO of a company called Dynamics which built telecommunications software for telcos primarily the uh...it was a moderate success not a great barn burner and I left there wondering what's it take to create a huge company? We were profitable and growing but you know we didn't create that huge entity and I've worked for more than a dozen companies since then in senior executive roles, investor director and officer, I've worked in venture capital and investment banking, all the while trying to figure out what's it take to create these massive uh successful companies, what Shopify is doing right now. And not being able to work for one I finally said I'm going to do some research so I spent the last six years doing research into what it takes to create these to create unicorns, to create large public companies out of the technology that's being created in Canada and I've gained a whole perspective from talking to hundreds and hundreds of people who are entrepreneurs or venture capitalists, academics, uh advisors, everybody under the sun and I've looked at thousands and thousands of companies to figure out what the ingredients are and so what I'm bringing to this conversation is a challenge to the status quo, a different way of thinking, a different way of framing a lens on the issue of intellectual property than perhaps has been had before and I'm not trying to create something radically new but just change the conversation slightly to get people to recognize things that uh that are in existence that might be valuable to think about. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's great, thank you Charles. Well I think I'll remind everyone uh hopefully everyone's had a chance to to read through the white paper uh but it's definitely worth the read. It is really the context for a lot of the discussion that we're gonna have today um and we've got lots of people in the session today so we're up to just under 70 uh participants in the session so just a reminder to hit the Q&A button and feel free to add questions as they come up through the session, things that come to mind that you've got access to Alexis and Charles' brains on this on the subject matter here. So let's start off um let's connect this to the whitepaper um let's frame really a lot of the white paper was uh this this redefinition or reframing the way that we talk about IP. Charles can I start with you? Can you give us a bit of a definition over what you described in the paper as market IP and process IP and why have you added them to technical IP as elements of an IP strategy? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) So I guess you got to start back. We typically think of intellectual property as as the secrets embodied in the product that you're selling and it can be protected by patents or trade secrets uh I, in talking predominantly in this case with venture capitalists, have come to a new appreciation of what the elements of intellectual property are and it comes down to the question of when venture capitalists look at a company, they look at three things. They look at the product, they look at the market, and they look at the team. Well when they look at the product, the market and the team, they're asking the question of what do you know and and what is special about what you know? And so they're looking at the product from the lens of how how it differs from the competition, how you protected it from patents, what regulatory approvals you've achieved and then you get to market IP and when they look at the market what they're looking at is: are you serving a big enough market to create a big company? Do you have an understanding of the market needs that are perhaps different than other people understand and do you have an understanding of the competitive capabilities and how they meet those market needs that are different than the rest of the market would understand? The third thing is process IP and that's do you have the knowledge to scale your technology which is an element in every type of business to be able to scale it to large enough size to be successful. Do you have the knowledge to take it to the market, the knowledge of the uh marketing and sales process and do you have the knowledge as to how to get it financed? So those all become elements and it's not so much inventing a new way of of defining IP but recognizing what uh SIPO says on their very own websites are trade secrets and if you look at at the definition that SIPO uses as trade secrets, everything I've mentioned there is inherent in the definition so what we're really doing is elevating the concept of trade secrets other than product trade secrets to the same level as as product or technical IP. So instead now looking at this predominant patent technical IP with subsidiary trade secrets, we're elevating it to the same level and having a bigger, more fuller conversation about that. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's excellent um so why don't we why don't we start in uh in in one of the components and uh and we'll just we'll journey through the experience here. So can we talk about what are some examples of process IP? When you talked about process IP you described what it was, can you give us some examples of of this as it would apply to a company? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Well I think you can you can look at old examples and those are really dominant. Uh Ford didn't invent the car, they entered a market that was saturated with car manufacturers and reinvented the process for making a car. They developed process IP that was world beating. McDonald's did the same thing with hamburgers. I mean they didn't invent a better hamburger in fact you'd be hard to argue it is at times even edible but what they did was they developed a process to get that to you in the most efficient manner possible at least cost and thereby you know brought radical change to the industry. If you look in that more recent technology you're looking at companies like Netflix which really understood the mailing process with CDs to enable them to get to a market or get to a customer quickly, you're looking at Google's market algorithm or sorry their pricing algorithm for um for ads or you're looking at Uber's use of financing and the amount of financing that they had to acquire in order to dominate the markets that they chose to dominate and so those specific processes, uh their knowledge of those processes, that enabled those companies to completely uh disrupt the industry and change the the whole nature of our discussions about these major industries. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Now I'll continue on that that theme then so IP, intellectual property, includes property as a term. How's know how or process property? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Maybe Alexis you you can answer this because it gets into the issue of trade secrets and what they are um. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Well I think you just have to go back and look at the definition of intellectual property um you know if we're going to make it really basic you can basically say it's a creation of the mind. So processes that are in business can be defined as a creation of the mind so it meets the definition of intellectual property and regardless of what language we put around it um it needs to be protected so these processes are inherently protected either by formal uh intellectual property rights that you can apply for or register for or they're protected by contracts that you build them up around so I don't know, does that answer your question Ian? (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) It does, I think you know in the definition too process IP because we again if we don't elevate it, if we don't think about it as something that needs to be protected is property um how do you go about protecting that, as an example of the new form of IP, when those are the easy things to to walk out the door every night? Well trade secrets or process IP or know-how or whatever it is that we want to call it, there's many ways to protect it um one of the best ways to protect it is if your business has a thorough IP business strategy your contracts are going to be in line to make sure that that doesn't happen. You're going to have internal communications that make sure your various leaders know exactly what those things are that you're trying to protect so that nobody absentmindedly gives away a secret um there's everything from lock and key to encryption with software, employment contracts, employment language, all sorts of activities that businesses can and should partake in to protect that essentially. And depends on every business, every business is unique so there's no set formula on how you would go about doing that and the uniqueness of how you're going to do it you really do need to engage counsel for that uh that isn't just something where you can look up online on what you're going to do for an employment contract is related to IP or what you're going to do in terms of building up an internal IP committee to make sure these things are locked down. You really do need to be engaging a variety hopefully once you're big enough of professionals to make sure that you're not going to let that walk out the door. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) What strikes me out of your answer there Alexis is three pieces. So one, it's intentional. Two is that it's structural in terms of getting the right advice as it relates to your business the context that you operate in and the third one is what are the common pieces? Because I think those are the ones that we don't think enough about. Communication being an example, are you talking about this frequently enough with your employees that they understand how important these pieces are? Um so that's uh that's very helpful thank you. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) I would even add that a fourth part of it is cultural right? So, from the top down, if your executive team and your founders your leadership isn't saying okay we need to adapt an IP culture within what we're doing, maybe marketing, human resources, sales, research and development, even administrative, so governance, accounting all that stuff. If it doesn't infiltrate from the top down, you're at risk of having things walk out the door so when I read Charles' paper from my lens, I basically see businesses needing to adapt IP holistically in all departments, in all areas of how they're practicing. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) And if you look too at what SIPO has defined as intellectual property when they when they talk about trade secrets, which is what I go back to it's the thing we suggest, and they say "a trade secret-" and I'm reading here because I have a terrible memory "the trade secret can be any business information that derives its value from its secrecy. It can be a method, a technique, a process, research and analysis data, a formula, a recipe, a device, an instrument, trade secrets may be very valuable when you've developed a new technology, designed original products, created the perfect recipe, or put together a gold mine of customer data. So there's always been the intention to include trade secrets in this concept of intellectual property. It's defined by WIPO it's defined by SIPO and we're now just elevating the conversation to say you have to marry the uh your technical IP with your process and market IP and if you concentrate just on your product or technical IP to the detriment of the other two you're not going to succeed as a company in the modern world. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Well said both of you, wow that's great um so I'm going to flip uh to uh an attendee question as well just another another attendee question. I want to highlight a reminder to folks uh please do submit your questions to the Q&A function this is uh this is an Ask Me Anything so we're here to to take your your questions. One of the questions came in, Alexis I think might have been connected to your comments, um "how do I protect ideas when trying to promote them trying to get funding?" So how do you balance that line between something that's an asset and getting the value out of it while also protecting it. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Sorry can you repeat the question? (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Absolutely, so it was "how do I protect my ideas while trying to promote them to get funding?" (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Okay well the first step is you've got to educate yourself on intellectual property rights in Canada and abroad. I would say that is the number one thing you need to consider and the other thing you need to think about is how those rights that you've educated yourself upon or have gone to um you know patent agents, agent lawyers, IP business strategists, et cetra uh information that you've gotten from them as well you need to consider all of that before you do go to market. Um before you do start shopping around your ideas and there's no cut and paste answer for that you know it's uh it's a bit of an insurance policy right? If you don't talk about anything to your market you know the risk in that is you're not going to go anywhere with it but if you do talk about it your risk is it's going to be taken advantage of but if you've done the education beforehand you would know that in certain jurisdictions throughout the world you have a bit of a grace period of when you can get away with talking about something before you do have to consider public disclosure so it really depends on what your business strategy is and what you're trying to do and what your relationships are. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's great um can I can I build on that question? There's um there's two questions that have come in I think related I'll uh I'll try not to give you uh a multiple uh multiple uh question here load it too much but if I took it apart you know where would you point people who are looking for advice on uh IP based funding or or IP monetization? What are some of the resources you point people to? (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Okay well obviously when it comes to resources from an educational perspective the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a whole wealth of digital tools that people can look at, other federal departments internally ranging from BDC to EDC, uh you're looking at exports, you're looking at different grants and loans, they've got information as well. There's a whole host of resources you mentioned earlier the World Intellectual Property Office, I can say that the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada has a whole host of obviously professional expertise um the organization is innate to what they're doing there. You can look at a variety of professional burns throughout and across the country and international that have their own spin on information that you can access and then when it comes to funding there are investors and there are venture capital groups that do invest based on IP and they will cover costs or they will cover future costs...a variety of circumstances depending on what they're looking at and who they're chasing and then within government you know with uh BBC, Government of Canada $160 million dollar fund for IQ backed um loans. We can take a look at the CanExport um businesses or SMEs. It's you know backed by NRC that businesses can use, during COVID-19 right now, up to $75,000 and 75% of that they can get reimbursed for IP fees that they need to expend in going global into areas where they don't already have a strong existing client base. So there are programs and there are funds available for people to do this um they just need to they really do need to do some homework because the information is out there and I'm not saying it's all on businesses to find out about that um you know government and venture capitalists and other people do put this information out there it's just a matter of um marrying the two together. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) So uh so the the idea then is this IP can be an asset, it can be a tool, can be a vehicle, to get funding multiple different resources, ways to think about accessing that. A related question then we'll move on to the next kind of topic and I want to examine market IP but it's an interesting question which is "depending on your funding situation, how how would how should someone think about uh IP if they can't necessarily afford to defend it and what would you say to startups who are you know needing to fund an IP challenge?" (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Okay so I think we're talking about the question in terms of how expensive it can be to defend and to enforce what you're doing from an IP perspective so there's a couple of misconceptions surrounding that. There are administrative avenues in most jurisdictions that you can go at it that aren't as expensive as people think um and the opposite side of that just because you can't afford to enforce it now it doesn't mean that five years from now you're not going to need that right to defend off something else when you can afford it. So if you think about it in terms of building up your fence defensively right you may be strategically investing in IP full out knowing that right now and then two years and five years from now you have no intention of defending it because of expenses but that doesn't mean you won't be able to and you won't need it because if you don't have it someone else can use it and get it and then you have absolutely no grounds to defend it on down the road even if you do have the money. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's such an important perspective, the time dimension there, Charles I don't if you have any other comments to add I invite you to add on there otherwise we'll move on to talking about market IP. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) No I'm good. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) So uh can you help us out there Charles in terms of we spent a bit of time on process IP and then we had a general conversation about some of the the protection of IP. Can you recap a bit of a definition of market IP and give some examples to help ground this piece? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) So you know back to the definition it's knowing that there's a large market in which there's an inherent need, it might be defined or it might be very ill-defined need, and the knowledge of the competition what they could conceivably do. So if you look at those things it's it's an understanding of your strategy as it relates to the market and competition there's some really great examples of market IP and how firms have dramatically changed the landscape disrupted entire industries because of having market IP and staking their their uh business on that. The first one I'll bring out is Salesforce and Salesforce came into uh the customer relationship management business at a time when it was heavily saturated with lots of uh of vendors. They were competing in a market that was uh about well let's say about four billion dollars in size so it was a fairly good sized market at the time and they took a completely different stance of it. They recognized there was a need from companies that that could not afford the existing products and so they brought in a very stripped down version of the product made it available through software as a service and created maybe not originally created but created the certainly the best example early on of software as a service and so in doing that they had understood the large market so it was a four billion dollar market, I think by the time they went public it was a seven billion dollar market and it's now a forty billion dollar market annually and they took a place in that which went from an absolute startup to a company which is now something like 40% of the market and uh and sixteen billion dollars in size so really successful at understanding that market. Two recent companies that did that, Uber did it I mean you know they have completely disrupted the transportation market not through inventing anything new but recognizing that consumers wanted a different way to access transportation services and understanding the need of consumers to transact business on their phones which hadn't been applied to the taxi business or the rental car business or the subway business. They were able to compete with those businesses in a in a market that's arguably five trillion dollars and completely and radically disrupt that market in uh in the matter of you know what was it? 10 years or something since they started. Another good one is Airbnb. It's done the same thing, they saw a need in the marketplace that others did not see and were able to expand into that. Airbnb is not complex software, um Uber's software is not complex, Salesforce's software was not complex. It might be now, but they took a different take on a market and, as a result, they were able to succeed really in spades. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) So a number of those examples are you know a different perspective in a market not as the market is currently represented but in understanding the market as it could be related to the solutions of the company. Could you talk a bit about that acquisition process for market IP either those examples or or point to a different way that an organization could do that? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Well I think they each started with a hunch and the hunch is not really market IP in itself it maybe is a different way of looking at the market but you haven't acquired any IP if you just start with a hunch and then that's all you go with. You then have to undertake a really comprehensive process in the same way as you develop technical IP, you have to develop really comprehensive market IP and it starts with hiring people who have experience in that market. So you're hiring you know if you if your end market is going to be in Europe then hire Europeans because they're going to understand the market better. If it's in the U.S, hire Americans who might understand the market better. Then do market research and this happens way before the product gets launched. Start to understand the market based on research into how they're buying, why they're buying and all the dynamics of how they look at the competition and where the competition is weak et cetera. Using that research then you conduct trials and when you look at what venture capitalists finance, they finance a hunch but the money is used for trials. Their money is used to try out uh different target markets to develop product market fit, it's used to try out different marketing ways of getting to that market and to obtain marketing efficiency and so these trials, added to the people who are in place, add to your understanding of the market and allow you to uh do something that's completely different than the competition to disrupt them. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's great um I'm going to pick another few uh attendee questions. Um Alexis this one's probably uh maybe best for you but open to both: "how do you differentiate as a strong tech firm without a patent portfolio?" (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Well if you don't have a patent portfolio and you know you've consulted with experts and it's been decided that you don't have a patent because what you have isn't patentable, you can still use intellectual property to advance yourself from a competitive perspective. Um intellectual property landscaping right? It's a common tool that is used across the profession. You think you know yourself even if you've been in that industry for 10 years, if you haven't gone through the process you figure out okay this is where the market's crowded when it comes to intellectual property but at the end of that exercise you might find a white gap, an empty space, where the market isn't crowded, where there is opportunity and if you don't have a patent portfolio and there's minimal risk of you know you've sought risk in terms of prior art that you'd be infringing on and you see that gap you can still use IP knowledge to execute on a business strategy without formally having patents. Now you likely want to try to develop formally registered IP within that space but it's not always entirely needed um and it's a case-by-case decision (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That makes sense - sorry Alexis keep going. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) No it starts with education right? So part of the process with all of this is executives and leadership teams and boards of directors they need to make a commitment that IP is going to be a part of what they're working on, all parts of it, um and if you get that down the education becomes ingrained in your institution, in your organization, and these little opportunities of how you can execute will present themselves. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) There's an attendee uh who put in a Q&A it wasn't really a question more of a statement but resonated so much with your earlier point Alexis on that uh around culture and the importance of management instilling and repeating that piece and I think what I take away Alexis, in addition to on your comments, is there's value in the exercise itself and being educated from a strategy perspective which so much aligns with what Charles is saying in his white paper as well. It's doing the exercise to to consider what's there and what your strategy should be as a result. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) And you know if you're going for finance sorry if you're going for financing you're going to have to explain that. So you've got to go through that process of understanding uh your intellectual property and the various different forms of it when it comes down to convincing a venture capitalists to invest so it's, to me it's, a highly important exercise to really get a handle on that IP before going out to the financing market. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Well it's not exclusive to your R&D right? So another answer to the question earlier about how do you go about this if you don't have patents well you know sometimes the value when you find those gaps is going after the talent so if you don't have your your HR leads and other people around the table as you adopt intellectual property as a priority for your business you're gonna miss out on those opportunities. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Uh another uh another technical question uh Alexis this one comes back to you and then and then I think we're ready to connect some of the different concepts we've been talking about "what importance does IP actually hold at a startup versus the application of new tech to novel areas?" Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, do you understand the genesis of that question? (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Yeah okay so let's just think of it in terms of property in real estate. It's an intangible asset, it has a value. May that be a process value you've got the know-how right, trade secret process IP or may it be formally registered IP or may it just be a provisional application claiming some territory into an area that you're inventing in. Investors see a value on that and increasingly we're seeing private investors assign dollar numbers to it um obviously there's accounting rules and accounting restrictions but Ian if I buy as a business (unclear) it's no different from a building. So if your startup and you're trying to raise capital and you want to improve your valuation yeah you've got to talk about these things because if not you're leaving money behind. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) So another place where these pieces are are definitely linked together. Charles did you have something to add there? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) No that was good. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Um so let's uh let's connect a few of the different pieces because I think that's what's coming out of the conversation to me is a whole bunch of linkages about these are not about thinking about these pieces as pieces but then thinking about them as a connected whole so if we were looking across these pieces something that you had explained Charles, you talked about competitive differentiation and how that relates to market IP, how does that also connect to technical IP? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Well let's go through the process of of uh figuring out your competitive differentiation. So you you decide you want to bring a product into a certain market that has a certain set of needs and you can go through an analysis of the competition and figure out where there are opportunities to create something of higher quality, faster speed or lower cost in some way and and in doing that you craft your strategy as a firm which is to develop something that is so different from the competition that the consumers wake up and notice that you have the potential to disrupt and the concept there in developing that market IP is to actually develop something with a substantial difference because now, and part of the reason we're discussing this is, we've had a significant change in the nature of markets over the last 40 years we've moved from industrial markets to knowledge-based markets. In the industrial markets there were very few competitors. There was a good, better, best, there were a few options for consumers but now as you move into more nuanced markets there are tons of competitors. You look at what used to be available in car companies a number of cars compared to today or you know just the sheer number of software firms filling the customer relationship management field as an example or social media or anything like that. There's a tremendous degree of competition and it's standout, you have to have a really differentiated product so you do that analysis, you acquire your market IP and then you build that into your product and it's not building your product and then finding out your market IP, I think that's backwards. I think you have to figure out your competitive differentiation right in the beginning and then you build it into your product. Now, you've got something to protect. If you have no difference in your product from what your customer has, you know, Alexis you can comment on this but you don't, in my view, you don't have anything to protect. You have to have something that's novel, it's useful, it's inventive and without that, without that differentiation, you can't obtain protection for the differentiation and therefore you really don't have a competitive advantage at all and that's the linkage between market IP and um and technical IP in my view but Alexis I'd be interested to hear what you have to say on that. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Sometimes though the methods of yet that know-how that you're describing are patentable and you can protect in various means so you can't just apply a blanket statement to, to any given business, but often there is a way to protect something that you're not aware of. Um you know if we're looking at a physical product that maybe isn't necessarily novel from, you know, a mechanical perspective well perhaps it is novel from a design perspective and then we look at things like industrial design in Canada or design patents in the U.S. um so there are ways we can go about that but again I would agree you know on a personal level, not representing SIPO you know I don't speak for an organization, that you need to consider all of those pieces when you're looking at that. (unclear) Does that make sense Charles? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) After the last bit all I saw was your mouth move no sounds came out so if you can just repeat the last bit. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) I think I was saying I agreed with you that you have to look at you have to look bigger than a physical object with what you're doing. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Yeah this is true. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Um well then another piece that is across all of them so not not that this is going to be the right move for for many companies but if you were you were to exercise one of your strategies was to sell patents that you have, can you sell? Can you market? Can you sell market or process IP in the same way that you sell patents? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Of course oh yeah go ahead Alexis. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) There's entire businesses that are built around um the sale and acquisition of patents you know they have various terms depending on the circles you're speaking of but there are people that do nothing but broker the sale of patents um it's an industry no different from how you sell reels. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) And the same thing exists for for a market IP and effectively your market IP is your your customer and you know if you're acquiring a business you've got to decide why you're acquiring the business and there you know there are three basic reasons there are lots of other reasons but there are three basic reasons you're going to acquire a business. You're going to acquire it because it has a product that you want to sell to your existing customers or it's got a market that you want to take your product and sell to their customers and that's because they've got market IP. They've developed a relationship with the market that that makes that relationship valuable to you with a product that can reach that market or convert lastly although it doesn't usually bring as much money they've got a team that is adept at actually doing something and you want to buy them because they might have a lousy product and be in a bad market but they've got a really good team and frequently you see teams of developers that are sold, in fact you can you can um you can price teams of developers and I went through this a couple years ago in a certain example where a development team that I was associated with was sold and there was an argument about what's the development team worth so somehow you're developing each of these they're each worth different amounts depending upon what you put into them and what what intellectual property you managed to create within them but there are markets for anything that you want to sell nowadays in that regard. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) To comment on your um reference there to talent acquisition. I'm always amazed by how many businesses are amazed when their patent agent or agent lawyer recommends to them to look to the universities that are graduating the bulk of the best talent in their field and start sponsoring those university programs so that they can directly acquire that talent before. It's all part of the awareness. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Yeah absolutely and that gets into the strategy of how you're acquiring this not not how you're monitoring and monetizing it but what maybe if you've got a really well developed human resources strategy, what you're saying is these are the pieces of intellectual property in market IP and process IP that we need to acquire as a company and we either we need to acquire the basics of it or we have to acquire the people who can develop it so you know it becomes a very conscious strategy and when you're evaluating a team you can look at the team and say what have they done before? Therefore, what what are they bringing in terms of market IP and process IP to the table or what ability have they shown in the past to develop that market or process IP just the way you look at programmers and what what abilities they have to develop technical IP. It all becomes the same thing and so now IP is more reflected broadly through the organization every person in the organization can be an owner of some type of intellectual property and together it is the backbone by which the company succeeds and and more holistically looking at the problem. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) In a lot of organizations we see that bringing in talent that brings in experience with IP to begin with on the technical side, it creates a competitive but friendly environment within the organization that leads to the generation of even more formal intellectual property which leads to higher evaluations which leads to more and more and more and but if there's no base cultural understanding of what intellectual property is you're not going to thrive. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) I think there's a reason why you see individuals throughout their career with large patent portfolios right? Something that they do is they move between different companies so it's a great point there. I don't think enough people are thinking about that loop, the talent acquisition loop, is uh strategic in that nature it's a it's a different lens on particularly technical talent but business talent as well. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) When I teach about intellectual property business strategy it's not necessarily the terms or the the the technical details that we want business leaders to walk away with. We want to imprint on them that the concept of intellectual property and what it means to their business and how they build it up, may it be through building an IP committee or how they're fundamental, technical stuff after that they can build upon um but they need to have it. The way I come at it is it needs to be ingrained throughout your organization. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) Yeah well said. Um so let's uh let's take another piece and again we're getting towards the end of our session we've got still some time left. There's a number of fairly technical questions that are in the uh in the chat that we may be able to answer here um they may be more specific to individual companies so we'll look back to those if we can please continue to submit those those questions to the chat or Q&A function and uh and we'll address it there um so here here's an attendee question that was submitted uh and I think this is, you know, it's the the general thing we do as Canadians is compare ourselves to the U.S. but let's do it. Um what do you mean...I think that Charles this question connects to the paper because it says "what do you mean when you say Canadians are patenting more by getting less bang for their buck and why?" (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Well that's that's a funny one because I keep doing pieces of research that compare our patenting practices against the results that we're getting and I've done this two or three times and the most recent one i looked at uh 3,300 companies in the U.S and Canada in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and a few others I can't remember exactly what and I looked at the number of patents held by each of those 3,300 companies, how much capital they'd received in total and what I what I noticed is that the Canadians actually there were more Canadians as a percentage that held patents than Americans that held patents. We're talking about U.S patents here not Canadian patents so if you look at 100 Canadian companies they had more of them were getting patents than there were American companies. 100 American companies getting patents. The second thing is they had more patents per dollar of capital than the Americans did, American patents again. So what this means to me is that they aren't raising the same amount of money with their patent portfolio as the Americans are raising and when you don't raise as much money what typically happens is you don't grow as fast, you don't develop the valuations, you don't have the chance to go public so when I say they're not getting the bang for the buck, they're doing the patenting but uh one stat from another piece of research is when you look at series A rounds, foreigners invest in Canada uh 2.7 times as much as Canadian VCs invest in series A rounds per company. So a company that gets financed in Canada uh by Canadians has you know 40% of the money that a Canadian company financed by the U.S have. When you get finance like that you have uh more money to lose, more money to spend on sales and marketing, you're going to have faster growth in the long run, you're going to get a better valuation and more chance of going public. So when you look at bang for the buck, we are doing the patenting. I would argue against. Many, many reports look globally at Canada and say you know we're not doing enough R&D patenting in business. The problem is that we have a different business composition in Canada. We have a lot more small firms, I think we're second last in the OECD in terms of large firms as a percentage of population. Small firms tend to patent less than large firms and so when you look at it as a country you can look at R&D and say we're failing but you have to ask the question: where is that failure happening? I don't see it happening in the technical technology industry because every time I do the stats I see that the same rate of patenting in technology in Canada as in the U.S but we're not growing the big companies. The end result? We're not getting the bang for the buck for the patenting that we're doing pointing to the fact that the problem in Canada is not patenting, the problem is marketing and the process behind growing large companies. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) I'll add to that a little bit. Often what I see, and I know many of the professionals that I work with and agents and agent lawyers they comment on it all the time, is businesses patenting for the wrong reasons and patenting the wrong things that they're working on and that also ends up poorly for Canada. So if we go back, and I know I'm saying this ad nauseam here, if we if we go back and we basically focus on we have an education gap, we have businesses that associate intellectual property all the time with just patents and that's great because we do need patents but if we're not doing it for the right reasons and understanding what we're doing, it doesn't help the situation. So you know when I listen to what you're saying Charles, to me, it's just this is an educational challenge that we're having it's not unique necessarily to Canada but we definitely have a problem with it. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Yeah and I think today was really interesting because the logic brought out uh the autumn report the autumn report says, I can't remember the dollar value, universities are doing $4.5 billion worth of uh of research a year and the total dollar value of of uh you know money earned from the patents that are created is infinitesimal in comparison to the $4.5 billion and this is another case of we're doing the patenting, we're not reaping the rewards. Well there are a number of reasons behind that and oddly enough they came back come back to the same thing, as I'm trying to point out in this paper is that it's a lack of understanding of market IP and process IP. First of all, the universities are not tasked, they do not have a mandate to commercialize the the intellectual property they create which is the first problem. The second problem is that the intellectual property being created is not being created by demand in the marketplace, it's being created by interest and that's as it should be because they're universities so a lot of the stuff that is created in universities is not is not you know marketable in the first place because it wasn't designed to be marketable and I'm not criticizing that but there are some things that may be designed to be marketable but universities in Canada are not given at all the same money to market the results of the patents that they create. So they're so they're not given the money to do the patents so when you look at the patenting rate in Canada versus U.S it's abysmal in Canada but the Canadian universities aren't given the money to do the patents because that's not part of their mandate. Then when they actually do the patents they're not given the ability through capital to commercialize those patents. What what they're given is, you know, they're told yeah it'd be nice if you commercialize it but their way of commercializing it, for all they can afford, is to license it and typically that happens to large foreign corporations so we have a situation where we say yeah we're spending a lot in R&D but we're not putting behind that the understanding the market and the money behind the marketing and the process knowledge that turns that intellectual property into something and so it's, I think, it's unfair to criticize the universities for this. It doesn't have the mandate, they don't have the funding and they don't have the knowledge to do it and that's why we're putting out this paper to make people understand that there's more than just patenting to the creation of successful enterprises. It's applying market knowledge and process knowledge to the fueling of growth and the creation of large-scale enterprises. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) I think Charles I'm just going to bring back this connects to an attendee question as well. I think you just answered it which is the context for market IP and and process IP I think, it's fair to say based on your answer so why why use those terms? Really the context here is about elevating their importance to the same level as technical IP and that they're considered both on their independent value but also as a whole. I may be putting words in your mouth but I just wanted to circle back on that. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Yeah no that's that's completely fair I mean yeah the the question is um specifically oh it just disappeared so I was going to read the specific question but um hey can you get it back there because... (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) I can read it out to you so "why introduce the terms of market and process IP if they're not currently known? So why introduce those to the conversation?" (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Well that's what innovation is innovation is, introducing new ideas and new products to the marketplace and we need to innovate to meet the needs of a changing society and so all we're doing is we're starting a new conversation and that's what universities are told to do. That $4.5 billion, or whatever it was, in research is universities that are introducing new concepts into the world. They're examining what exists, they're critiquing it, they're saying this is how it's working, this is how it's not working and they're saying oh we see a new lens for doing this and then universities they go to peer reviewed journals, they get evaluated by their peers and they publish and there's a discourse that happens so we are trying to create a discourse. We're trying to start a conversation here from a different lens and a different perspective and yeah that's going to involve using terms that haven't been used before and people invent terms all the time, they invent products all the time. I mean saying why why would you bother inventing a new product when somebody's never heard of it but that seems sort of like anti-innovative but what we're trying to do here is start a discourse that challenges Canada because Canada has had, for 50 to 75 years, one of the worst rates in productivity improvement in business R&D, in creation of large companies and creation of unicorns and it hasn't changed no matter how much money is applied and there's billions of dollars a year applied in Canada to solve these problems and I can go back to Global Mail 50 years ago and see the same articles that exist today: Canada invents five new programs to deal with R&D, Ken invents a new patenting policy to deal with R&D and we have the same problem. The reason is we're looking at the same problems, the same old ways as we always have. It's time to change that conversation and look at things in a new way. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) I will challenge that and defend it a little bit as a federal public servant, I see behind the scenes how actively we are working to establish new and innovative programs that do line up with national IP strategies et cetera and you know even when we look at uh you know prime intellectual property and what we're seeing at the province which isn't my employer but they're making really, really good steps to move forward with it um but they are, you know, there is movement but it is difficult because and this maybe goes back to terminology and this is speaking as a daughter of a woman that was not born in Canada um I'm first born Canadian, English as a second language in my family, it's about we have a language problem. So we have R&D teams that have adopted just the patenting language around it and you have, within business, you have executives and other buckets that are afraid of that terminology so when we teach it sometimes language that I used in school to address these different departments within an organization so part of it is trying to get more people to take ownership of the subject matter. I don't really see it as you know as an attack on terminology, I see it as we're trying to more holistically bring in more Canadian innovators to own subject matter and that's kind of the lens I look at it like. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) That's great. Both, both two sides that I think kind of contribute to the same. So one is adding to the conversation, contributing new value. I also love the point about the utility of language right and this idea relates back to where we started the conversation on culture and making it seem that this isn't one team or one person's job and responsibility from IP but it's an organizational you know uh imperative that you have to have so that's great. So I'm realizing our time's just blown by I know we've got another, we've got just about five minutes to wrap here Alexis if you had a quick comment I'll let you put a comment to that. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) You want, you know, executive teams to adopt the constitution of intellectual property and the subject matter. I do think business responsibility at an executive level of someone that does oversee it all so moving away from this just within R&D to you know this is the C suite level individual within our leading organizations across the country. I would really, really, on a personal level, love to see more of that because I'm pretty sure the data would show that it would create some more success. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) It's good good management practice there um so I'm gonna I'm gonna turn uh one question uh in our time I know there are some more, again I'll advise people people who joined throughout the hour uh if you have questions you want to follow up with Alexis and and Charles you can reach out to your advisor and your CSM uh as a way to to as a conduit to get answers to those questions. So this is a bit of our our lead maybe into next week in our Ask Me Anything...we didn't talk about data. So where does data fit into this picture of of uh IP? And I'll open that up to both of you. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Can I answer this one Charles? (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Go for it yeah, yeah. (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) I'm not an expert in the subject area but what I am an expert at is looking at the leading uh perspectives in a subject matter and paying attention to what they're saying so a trend I'm noticing within the profession that does work within the data framework of intellectual property is it is all about the process which is typically contractual right? What you're doing to own that data, where you're getting it, how you're getting it, all the rules and ethics and you know all the legal side of it that goes with it. And then on the other side of that it's protecting. Knowing what you're going to do with it in the event of cyber security um and that is the two common themes that I'm hearing around intellectual property so that know-how of how to manage the data from a contractual perspective and everything else that I just mentioned you know that also fits into know-how trade secrets, intellectual property, process IP. Whatever language we're applying to it, data and intellectual property definitely go together. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) And you know I should be faulted for not including this in the discussion and in the paper but fundamentally data exists at the bottom layer as underpinning all of these uh functions of technical IP, market IP and process IP. So you know a good example is a company involved in machine learning has data that is embedded in the product. Uh a company like Uber has significant volume of data and Google, there's a great example, significant knowledge about the market that is embedded in their organization and they gain knowledge as to what to do and how to apply that through ownership of that data and they also have knowledge of the process and so they know what it takes and uh in terms of going to customers developing leads, developing uh conversations and developing long-term financial commitments with customers because of the data they've got and so when you look at it, the role of data scientists has been elevated in many many companies and in fact the role of economists has been elevated in companies. You look at the large U.S companies they're all now employing economists and data scientists in order to understand and grapple with the data because economics is fundamentally the process of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services and it's data about that that lead you to technical IP, market IP and process IP and it becomes more of an embodiment now. (Ian Mcdonald, Chief Customer Officer, Communitech) So I'm going to have to end it there. Again, great answers like a really valuable hour I know for us this is a conversation that's going to be ongoing with more to come on the topic and and more opportunities I'm sure for a dialogue. So we're at our hour, I'm going to close by saying thank you for everyone for joining us in this Ask Me Anything session. Really want to thank Alexis and Charles for joining us it was great to have you with us. Uh have a great week everyone uh I hinted at data...we're looking at the privacy angle of data, different lens on data, next week uh in our next Ask Me Anything on Tuesday, January 26 and we hope you can join us. Take care everyone. (Charles Plant, Innovation Economist) Thanks Ian! (Alexis Conrad Black, Intellectual Property Advisor, Canadian Intellectual Property Office) Thank you Ian!