In an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) joined a coalition of free-market organizations imploring him to promote an environment supportive of intellectual property (IP).
"We the undersigned companies and organizations write to urge you to promote a public policy environment in Canada that supports innovation and intellectual property (IP)," the letter reads. "Canada has a history of one of the most well-developed environments for promoting advancement of the arts and business through the defense of intellectual property rights, but we are concerned about current developments. Canada has begun to lag behind other developed nations in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights, even though scholarly research shows that more than ever, the protection of such rights are key drivers for a country’s economic growth."
The letter proceeds to detail the value of IP to both the Canadian and American economies in terms of employment, investment, exports, research and development, consumer products and higher income jobs.
In addition, the letter alerts the Prime Minister to emerging threats to IP rights in Canada, including the proposed “promise doctrine.” That misguided and potentially dangerous proposal would essentially require inventors to see into the future and itemize the various utilities of an innovation when filing patent applications. Not only are such predictions impossible to accurately foresee, but they add uncertainty that threatens to stifle innovative efforts and investment for fear of no future reward due to bureaucratic whim. That is particularly true in the lifesaving pharmaceutical industry, where the effects are already being felt, as the letter details. The promise doctrine also contravenes NAFTA, WTO rules and international IP norms.
Because Canada remains America’s most important trading partner, we therefore ask Prime Minister Trudeau to remain vigilant in protecting Canadian IP rights and resist ongoing efforts to undermine them.
In addition to CFIF , other organizations joining the letter include the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, American Commitment, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), Frontiers of Freedom, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), the National Center for Policy Analysis, Digital Liberty and the Property Rights Alliance.
The letter, which was organized by the Property Rights Alliance, can be read in its entirety by clicking here.