Canadian Intellectual Property: The Politics of Innovating Institutions and Interests


210 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-4473-5
DDC 352.749'0971




Reviewed by Eric P. Mintz

Eric P. Mintz is an associate professor of political science and
environmental studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial
University of Newfoundland.


Intellectual property (patents, trademarks, and copyrights) is
increasingly important in the developing knowledge-based economy.
Professor Bruce Doern, who has written extensively on science and public
policy, and Markus Sharaput, who is completing his doctorate in
political science, analyze evolving Canadian policy in terms of the
tradeoff between the protection and dissemination of intellectual
property rights. The authors take an institutional approach, focusing on
the development of the Canadian government institutions along with the
diverse interests that affect policy in this field. A basic conclusion
is that global pressures and the Canadian government’s focus on global
trade and innovation have raised intellectual property issues from
obscurity and have led to a strengthening of protection (particularly in
the area of patents) at the expense of dissemination. Intellectual
property has become increasingly affected by government agencies
concerned with trade policy and by a global regulatory regime supported
by corporate interests.

This is a careful scholarly study of a neglected policy field. The
authors provide a balanced treatment that avoids the rhetoric that often
accompanies discussion of globalization, innovation, and
competitiveness. Some readers will, however, be disappointed that
intellectual property issues such as pharmaceutical patents,
biotechnology regulation, and copyright protection are only briefly
discussed. Nevertheless, this book provides a useful starting point for
informed understanding of these issues, and it makes a significant
contribution to our understanding of the changing direction of Canadian
public policy.


Doern, G. Bruce, and Markus Sharaput., “Canadian Intellectual Property: The Politics of Innovating Institutions and Interests,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,