Memorandum of Understanding between the Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the Commissioner of Competition of the Competition Bureau
April 2, 2014
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The Canadian Intellectual Property Office ("CIPO") and the Competition Bureau (the "Bureau") wish to acknowledge their important relationship and to recognize that cooperation can contribute to improved delivery of each of CIPO’s and the Bureau’s (the "Participants") respective mandates.
CIPO, a Special Operating Agency, is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada. CIPO's areas of activity include patents, trade-marks, copyright, industrial designs, and integrated circuit topographies. Headed by the Chief Executive Officer, Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks, the mandate of CIPO flows from the statutory and related authorities delegated pursuant to the: Patent Act; Trade-marks Act; Industrial Design Act; Copyright Act; Integrated Circuit Topography Act; Public Servants Inventions Act; Timber Marking Act; and related legislation and regulations.
The Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except for enforcement as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.
Each Participant plays an important role in fostering innovation and competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and the Canadian economy. The Participants establish this Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") to enhance their mutual interests and to develop a framework for cooperation to assist in the delivery of their mandates. To achieve the purpose of this MOU, each Participant will promote the benefits of, and encourage cooperation with, the other Participant throughout all levels of its organization.
Where possible and subject to their respective confidentiality obligations, the Participants will:
- consult with each other on enforcement guidelines or policy documents that may have a bearing on the other Participant’s mandate;
- examine the potential referral of competition concerns from CIPO to the Bureau that arise from IP rights;
- participate in knowledge transfer sessions to increase expertise in areas of mutual interest;
- participate in collaborative discussions relating to IP issues and their impact on competition as well as on Canadian intellectual property and competition laws;
- share information related to best practices and lessons learned on dealing with marketplace agency counterparts in different jurisdictions;
- share information on best practices pertaining to respective enforcement and IP activities, training, information technology and accommodation;
- develop an employee exchange program, where the Participants will host an employee from the other for a period of 6 to 12 months;
- cooperate on the organization of a joint workshop on the role of competition policy and intellectual property rights; and,
- meet annually (or semi-annually, if necessary) at the senior management level to discuss the items enumerated above and to explore further opportunities for cooperation and collaboration.
The Participants will not exchange information if doing so would contravene any relevant legislation, policies or guidance documents. Each Participant will maintain the confidentiality of any information obtained from the other and will notify the other should it receive a request from a third party for disclosure of such information. Neither Participant will disclose any confidential information obtained from the other Participant to any third party, without the written consent of the other Participant, except as required by law. Where disclosure is required by law, the Participant required to disclose the confidential information will give notice to and consult with the other Participant on how to protect the interests of any applicable review or process in light of the disclosure requirement. The Participant will give this notice as soon as it becomes aware of the disclosure requirement.
This MOU will be in effect from the date of the final signature. Either Participant may terminate this MOU by providing written notice to the other Participant at least 30 days in advance. This MOU may be amended upon the mutual written consent of the Participants.
Commissioner of Patents,
Registrar of Trade-marks and
Chief Executive Officer
Commissioner of Competition
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