McGill Centre for Intellectual Property Policy receives $3 million SSHRC Grant

December 04, 2003

Dean of the McGill Faculty of Law, Nicholas Kasirer, announced today that Professor E. Richard Gold and his Intellectual Property Modeling Group (IPMG) were awarded a 3 million dollar research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)*. Dr. Gold, holder of the Bell Chair in e-Governance and Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP), and his team have taken the lead in an international effort to reexamine intellectual property rights relating to biotechnological innovation in the health and agricultural sectors.

Robert Cook-Deegan, member of the CIPP and Director of the Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy at Duke University in the United States, noted: "This grant from SSHRC demonstrates Canada's leadership in international discussions about intellectual property and biotechnology. We are delighted to be partners in this effort, and we hope to collaborate with Canada's leading researchers. The Canadian government has consistently been ahead of the US Government in grasping the long-term significance of intellectual property policy issues related to biotechnology, and this is further evidence of that trend."

Professor Gold, who formed the IPMG two years ago as a research group comprised of experts in law, economics, management, political science and philosophy stated: " The central goal of any patent system is to achieve benefit to society through access to innovation, wealth creation and employment. Our research will permit policy-makers in Canada, and other countries, to better ensure that patent laws serve the interests of both industry and society. The current patent regime is more than 100 years old," Dr. Gold continued. " It needs a careful reexamination if Canada wants to have a strong health care system and strong agricultural communities."

The Executive Director of the CIPP, Elisa Henry-Bertrand, explained today that: "The high level of interest in the Centre from world-leading academics demonstrates the importance of our work. The crucial issues raised by this project bring together, under the auspices of the CIPP, experts from various disciplines and institutions such as the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQÀM), the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, the University of Minnesota and Texas A&M University".

The project aims to also assist the ability of developing countries to harness technological progress. In this regard, Dr. Peter Singer, Director of the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics, said today: "Biotechnology promises to be of fundamental importance to the health, economy and social structures within developing nations. This project aims to provide better ways of implementing intellectual property regimes within these countries is of extreme importance in permitting low and middle income countries to benefit from biotechnology."
More information on the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy can be found @

SSHRC Initiative for the New Economy Collaborative Research Initiative Grants, CIPP Application title : "Legal Models of Biotechnological Intellectual Property Protection : A Transdisciplinary Approach."

McGill University

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