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 of 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 note constitutes an update to Canada's 2015 report, and provides current information on Canada's activities in respect of technology transfer to least developed countries (LDCs).
3. Further to Canada's 2015 report, this report provides an illustrative, but not exhaustive, update on 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 also noted that the activities contained in this report are distinct from technical cooperation (which are outlined in Canada's corresponding 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 two concepts. Some technical and financial activities can constitute incentives for the transfer of technology, particularly, given that the regulatory context in a country (including with respect to intellectual property (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:
• 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.