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DSC can help you or your organization develop a solid IP Strategy and cultivate a pathway to successful commercialization of your innovations.

Canadian innovators are among the best in the world. Our inventions range from the pool noodle to the Canadarm, IMAX, the pacemaker, insulin, and the list goes on. Yet Canada lags other developed nations in cultivating IP to commercial success.

There’s no single source of blame for Canada’s low performance on IP commercialization. There are several factors

are at play.

  1. Innovators & Creators
  2. Post-Secondary & Research Institutions
  3. Companies
  4. Investors
  5. Innovation Support Network & Funding
  6. Government

Canada seen all these things in action in research labs, companies, post-secondary institutions, and with the patchwork of business support organizations across the country.  


  • They don’t recognize promising IP early enough
  • Provisional patents expire.
  • Failing to file disclosures and patents prior to public release of information.
  • The ‘perfectionist’ factor where innovators wait too long to file because they want to refine or perfect an innovation – then someone beats them to it.
  • They just never file and hope Trade Secrets will protect them.
  • Entrepreneurs and innovators lack a working knowledge of IP – there is often confusion around terms and legal definitions. This can lead to ill-fated IP negotiation with strategic partners who are better equipped to extract advantage.
  • Innovation is not just about patents – process innovation; organizational efficiency and optimization; talent innovation; business model innovations



  • Canada is among the top countries for solving pressing challenges; our researchers generate lots of IP; and many disclosures are filed annually; but the total # of patents filed is lower than comparable countries – why?
  • Faculty/Researchers don’t get IP.
  • Faculty/Researchers don’t care much about commercialization unless it is a factor in their grant applications.
  • Universities value IP creation but technology transfer offices could do more to cultivate IP literacy.
  • Colleges are new to applied research and as such there are underdeveloped IP policies and few supports for student or faculty who generate IP.
  • Research is not tied to the services of entrepreneurship or innovation centres, this contributes to IP dying on the vine.
  • Companies accessing college applied research would benefit from mentorship and IP strategy services as a part of their industry-applied projects.
  • Universities incentivize publication over patents so researchers often settle with a published paper and let disclosures or patents die on the shelf.
  • Tech transfer offices shop IP around for buyers but they are not entrepreneurs, so they don’t really understand their product nor do they have the incentive to get the best partnerships.



  • IP creation is not really the issue – we are great at this but as soon as the patent is filed we leave the company to their own devices – so they proceed haphazardly.
  • Many small companies have an unsophisticated approach to R&D.
  • R&D is often reactionary not proactive.
  • R&D is not a well-funded function unit in most companies.
  • Acting on IP can be unorganized,
  • Innovative companies don’t understand what an IP Strategy is or why it’s critical to their commercialization plans.



  • Business support organizations do not always have IP experts in-house and as such companies lack immediate access to solid IP advice.
  • There is little support from government programs for IP Strategy development and covering the wide variety of costs associated with working up an IP portfolio.
  • IRAP will help companies polish an innovation to ready it for the market; they will also support some IP costs (legal advice, patent costs) – but many companies do not seek their help at the opportune time.
  • FedDev programs could help but typically IP strategy is not a focus of their funding.
  • Government programs are typically sector-focused which artificially pigeon-holes IP into a previously defined sector. This is always out of line from the changing nature of innovative new markets.
  • Catch-22 - support only kicks in again when the company has significant market traction, yet they often need support to get traction.
  • Support is needed for innovation clusters – networks of services; joint partnerships where funding is available to companies to develop IP strategies and growth plans; should include funds to cover expert services and not necessarily focused on one sector.

Case Studies