1. Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) requires that "[d]eveloped country Members shall provide incentives to enterprises and institutions in their territories for the purpose of promoting and encouraging technology transfer to least developed country Members in order to enable them to create a sound and viable technological base".
2. Following the Decision of the Council for TRIPS of 19 February 2003 (IP/C/28), developed country Members must submit annual reports on the actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under TRIPS Article 66.2. Members decided to provide new, detailed reports every third year and, in the intervening years, to provide updates to their most recent reports. Canada's last detailed report was submitted in 2015. The present report constitutes an update to Canada's 2015 report, and builds on last year's October 2016 update, with a view to providing current information on Canada's activities in respect of technology transfer to least developed countries (LDCs).
3. Further to Canada's 2015 report (IP/C/W/611/Add.2) and Canada's 2016 update (IP/C/W/616/ Add.4), this report provides a further update, by way of an illustrative, and non-exhaustive, overview of incentives provided to Canadian enterprises and institutions, which are either targeted specifically at LDCs or to groups that at a minimum include an LDC. It is noted that the activities described in this report are distinct from technical cooperation activities (as outlined in Canada's corresponding 2017 report on Article 67 of the TRIPS Agreement). However, as noted by various Members and as expressed by the WTO Secretariat in the past, there are inevitable overlaps between the concepts of technology transfer and technical assistance. For instance, some forms of technical and financial assistance can constitute incentives for the transfer of technology, particularly given that the legal and regulatory context in a country (including with respect to IP) can be a key consideration in creating the enabling conditions for sustainable technology transfer.
4. Canada understands technology transfer to include: the transfer of technology embedded in physical goods and services, such as machinery and equipment; the dissemination of technical and business information and knowledge on which a product, process or service is based; and the transfer of skills and know-how. Accordingly, technology transfer can take the following form:
• intellectual property (IP) embedded in transferred goods and services;
• management and business know-how to support production and distribution of goods and services; and
• human resource capacity building.
5. Domestic incentives for the transfer of technology are provided for all three of these forms of technology transfer. While a variety of financial and non-financial incentives exist to facilitate technology transfer transactions (such as co-financing, loans, insurance, tax relief, technical advice, networking and partnership contacts, and linkages), most incentives in Canada for technology transfer take the form of official development assistance (ODA) programmes.