Joseph F. Turcotte, PhD

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My Latest: Review of ‘Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa’


“The ambitious volume INNOVATION & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is edited by members of the Open African Innovation and Research Training Project (Open A.I.R. Project) who are law professors and researchers based in Canada and South Africa. The Open A.I.R. Project is a “pan-African and globally interconnected research and training network” (p. v) focused on raising awareness about Intellectual Property (IP) in African settings, empowering an IP-oriented community in Africa, and identifying and analyzing IP-related problems and opportunities for collaboration and innovation. This volume and its sister report, KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA (see below for link) , as well as the Open A.I.R Project more generally will be of interest to IP scholars, practitioners, and policymakers interested in the role IP and alternative knowledge management practices can play to facilitate collaborative innovation in Africa, other developing state contexts, and the evolving knowledge-based economy.”

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Footnote – Shirin Elahi and Jeremy de Beer with Dick Kawooya, Chidi Oguamanam, Nagla Rizk and the Open A.I.R. Network, KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA: SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE (The Open A.I.R. Project, 2013).


Feature @IPilogue Post: “‘Made in America’ 2015? The TPP and the Future of Canada’s Digital Economy”


“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) agreement pages of both the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the White House display an understandable, if not provocative, logo extolling that the trade deal is “Made in America”. For a trade deal whose negotiations spanned the length of President Obama’s term in office, this is hardly surprising: with the end of his Administration on the horizon, the President is seeking to galvanize public and political support for an initiative he has long championed. However, in the context of a deal said to “set the rules for the 21st century for trade” between 12 countries of differing levels of economic development, such a US-centric system should raise some concern. In the case of Canada and more specifically Canadian copyright law, the TPP’s merits must be measured according to the domestic needs and realities of the country’s existing industries as well as its maturing digital economy. The Government of Canada should ensure that flexibilities and exceptions available in the TPP are creatively employed to mitigate concessions made to trading partners, which international trade agreements necessarily entail.”

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Feature @IPilogue Post: ‘Making the @CBCRadioCanada’s Giant Castle More User-Friendly’



“The culture industries appear to be at a crossroads. Shifting advertising practices as well as audience viewing and consumption habits continue to contribute to new challenges and opportunities for media and entertainment providers throughout the world. With its new “A Space for All of Us” strategy, Canada’s national public broadcaster – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada (CBC/Radio-Canada) – is facing hard choices while looking to rethink how the Corporation serves Canadians in an increasingly digitized information and entertainment landscape. By opening up CBC/Radio-Canada to the people that it’s mandated to serve, Canada’s national public broadcaster can reaffirm and build off of the Corporation’s impressive legacy by contributing to the country’s cultural consciousness.”

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New @IPilogue post: ‘Alice Corp., Software Patents, and Lighting the Rabbit Hole of Abstract Ideas’

“It’s often hard to recognize the evolving nature of legal regimes amidst the fast-paced and so-called revolutionary social and technological changes facilitated by digital and networked technologies. Laws, norms, and conventions developed over centuries are being problematized and rethought as new social, technological, and economic realities emerge. Computer software, a technology that’s mainstream adoption is but some three decades old, is arguably challenging the contours of patent regimes, which the innovation and economies of many states are built upon. The Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) recent decision in the case of Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, et al has moved the United States’ legal system one step closer to accounting for new, digitally-based business practices.”

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Feature @IPilogue Post: ‘The Future of Rights: Intellectual Property, Economic Inequality, and the ‘Digital Divide”


“A quarter century since he helped to create it, the man widely regarded as the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has renewed calls for a Digital Bill of Rights to help preserve the open and innovative character of his invention and to protect human rights in the so-called digital age.”

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