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The Hon. Fernand Robichaud, P.C. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Fernand Robichaud represents the province of New Brunswick and the Senatorial Division of Saint-Louis-de-Kent. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 23, 1997.

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World Intellectual Property Day

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Statement made on 27 April 2010 by Senator Joseph Day

Hon. Joseph A. Day:

Honourable senators, I rise today to discuss intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

Today we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. Intellectual property rights apply to intangible goods, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights. The day is officially celebrated on April 26, but since it fell on a Monday this year, we decided to mark the occasion on Parliament Hill today.

World Intellectual Property Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva. This United Nations agency is focused on the understanding of and respect for intellectual property rights worldwide.

This afternoon we will host members of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. The Institute, founded in 1926, is the professional association of patent agents, trademark agents, artists, engineers, lawyers and science graduates practising in the area of copyright and technology and the law. There are over 1,300 members of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada practising within and outside Canada, including some of us who are no longer engaged in active practice but who continue to be interested in the good work of the Institute.

The term "intellectual property" may be contrasted with real or personal property. Real or personal property is tangible, like a house or a car. Intellectual property is non-physical. It is a legal right that can be enforced in the courts and arises by virtue of creativity, such as composing music, writing a poem or designing a new widget. The creator of that work does not own each note or word, nor the material, but the creator does have a right to the particular arrangement of those words, notes or material.

We may all have the opportunity to delve into the world of intellectual property if the long-promised revision to the Copyright Act reaches this chamber. One of the main issues we will have to consider is balancing the rights of creators with the rights of citizens to access and use such works made readily available by reason of the digital revolution in electronics.

This year, 2010, marks the tenth anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day. This year's World Intellectual Property Day focuses on innovation. In support of World Intellectual Property Day on the Hill, it is my hope that honourable senators will visit room 256-S this afternoon between five o'clock and seven o'clock for the opportunity to greet and thank those members of the IPIC who do so much to help Canada's competitive position in the world.


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