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IP and Standards: A powerful strategic partnership

October 22, 2020

IP and Standards: A powerful strategic partnership

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Strategic partnerships are one of the most important ways to enhance a business’s growth, success and longevity. When two well-matched businesses come together in a strategic partnership, they can create value beyond the sum of their two parts. This may be in the form of expanding their client base, entering new markets or driving revenue. It may also spark new ideas and strengthen expertise for a positive impact on business performance and innovation. For SCC, it’s an integral part of helping Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) flourish.

Within our Innovation Initiative, over 60 percent of the innovators engaged have been referred to us by our partners, and often our tailor-made standardization strategies entail connecting clients with other partners in the standardization network—such as regulators, standardization development organizations, and certification bodies—to address their needs. In this way, we can help direct innovators to funders, regulators, standards developers, or other experts to help overcome hurdles which otherwise might hinder their success.

One of the partners we have recently paired with is the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Intellectual property (IP) and standards can be a powerful strategic partnership in its own right. IP can be embedded within a standard and become an important tool that can influence standards development, create opportunities for certification, or improve interoperability between technologies.

Last year, SCC and CIPO signed an agreement to create new opportunities and promote the benefits of a combined strategic approach to IP and standardization. As a first step, we co-hosted a series of webinars with CIPO and began working directly with Canadian innovators to help them realize the benefits of a combined IP and standardization strategy for their businesses. We also created an information sheet to raise awareness of the relationship between IP and standards. Together, CIPO and SCC work side by side with other Government of Canada colleagues in the Accelerated Growth Service to develop customized support for Canadian SME needs, such as IP and standardization strategies. With our combined efforts, we hope to encourage innovators to consider standardization in the early stages of design and development of their ideas to both avoid common pitfalls and benefit from business advantages that standardization can offer.

We will continue to work together with the innovation ecosystem and the standardization network to promote standardization and IP as powerful tools that can propel innovative ideas into successful products and services, that ultimately translate into greater success for Canada’s SMEs.