On behalf of the International Law Research Program (ILRP) of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), you are invited to participate in two-day conference, Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Strengthening Canada's Innovation Performance in the Global Economy.

This conference brings together leading intellectual property experts from CIGI’s ILRP; Canadian and international scholars; federal, provincial and territorial governments and innovation centres. Speakers include Director of the ILRP Oonagh Fitzgerald; Deputy Director of the ILRP and Theme Leader of International Intellectual Property Law and Innovation Bassem Awad and CIGI Senior Fellows Myra Tawfik and Karima Bawa.

Over the past decade, intellectual property rights have played a fundamental role in driving technological innovation and economic competiveness. The global rules governing ownership of technology and its diffusion have been radically transformed from traditional goods and services to intellectual property based on products. Emerging technologies are fundamentally altering the way we create, manage, and govern innovation. 

This conference aims to explore and explain the opportunities and challenges facing the intellectual property system and innovation policy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It raises the following questions:

  • How can the current Canadian and International intellectual property system enable a transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
  • What do policy makers need to know about the role of IP rights in strengthening Canada's innovative performance in today's technologically advanced and interconnected world?
  • What are the legal skills required for lawyers and consultants to deal with emerging technologies?
  • What mechanisms can be adopted by business and start-ups to better commercialize their innovation and protect their investments in the global economy?

For more information on the event, please refer to the conference program. To register, please visit the conference eventbrite page. 

*For Ontario lawyers, this program contains 1 hr 30 min Professionalism Hour(s). This program is also eligible for up to 11 hr 0 min Substantive Hours.

Event Speakers

Photo of Oonagh Fitzgerald

Oonagh Fitzgerald

Director of the International Law Research Program

As director of CIGI’s International Law Research Program, Oonagh Fitzgerald established and oversees CIGI’s international law research agenda, which includes policy relevant research on issues of international economic law, environmental law, intellectual property law and innovation, and Indigenous law.

Photo of Bassem Awad

Bassem Awad

Deputy Director, International Intellectual Property Law and Innovation

Bassem Awad is deputy director of international intellectual property law and innovation, with CIGI's International Law Research Program. In this role, he provides strategic guidance of the thematic area. A specialist in intellectual property law, he has served as a judge at the Appeal Court in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and as adjunct professor at Western University.

Photo of Myra Tawfik

Myra J. Tawfik

CIGI Senior Fellow

CIGI Senior Fellow Myra J. Tawfik leads a project that explores strategies for capacity-building in intellectual property (IP) literacy, IP strategy and access to cost-effective and meaningful IP legal services for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Myra is also the EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization and Strategy and the academic director and founder of the Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic at the University of Windsor.

Photo of Karima Bawa

Karima Bawa

CIGI Senior Fellow

CIGI Senior Fellow Karima Bawa is currently leading a project on optimizing university-developed intellectual property in Canada. Prior to her role at CIGI, she was the chief legal officer and general counsel for Research In Motion (BlackBerry).