Intellectual property management in selected industries, 2010

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Just over 5% of Canadian enterprises in selected industries held or used issued patents in 2010, while 18% held or used copyrights and 20% held or used trade-marks, according to data from the pilot Survey of Intellectual Property Management.

This new survey assesses intellectual property management practices of enterprises in selected industries. The information allows a better understanding of the effects of patents, copyrights, trade-marks and other forms of intellectual property on industry efforts to become innovative.

Over one-quarter (27%) of enterprises in the life sciences and 16% in transportation equipment manufacturing industries held or used patents in 2010, compared with 3% of enterprises in broadcasting and 4% in publishing.

Copyrights were more likely to be held or used in publishing (50%), the motion picture and video industries (42%), broadcasting (37%) and the sound recording industries (21%).

Trade-marks were held or used most extensively by enterprises in the pharmaceutical industry (40%), chemical manufacturing industry (39%) and publishing industry (31%). Trade-marks were least employed by enterprises in mining (7%).

The survey also assessed the use of other forms of intellectual property in the selected industries. Among the most predominant were holding web domain names, used by 43% of enterprises in the selected industries, and employing non-disclosure agreements, used by 26%.

Almost 12% of Canadian enterprises in selected industries used 'open source' in 2010. Open source is most often related to software, in which the source code is provided under licence that permits users to freely study, change, improve and distribute the software.

In 2010, 18% of enterprises in the information and communication technology industries engaged in open source intellectual property use, the highest proportion in the selected industries.

Clinical trial data protection was used exclusively by 4% of enterprises in the life sciences industries. The life sciences (excluding pharmaceuticals) industry led in the use of trade secrets (24%).

Almost 11% of enterprises in the selected industries earned revenues from royalties or licensing fees from their intellectual property, while 13% paid royalties or licensing fees to use intellectual property owned by others.

The enterprises most likely to have earned revenue from royalties or licensing fees were in the sound recording (37%) and motion picture and video (23%) industries. In 2010, one-half of enterprises in broadcasting paid royalties or licensing fees.

Enterprises with revenues greater than $5 million in 2010 were more likely to employ patents, copyrights or trade-marks than enterprises with revenues between $100,000 and $249,999.

For the largest enterprises, 23% held or used patents compared with 3% of the smallest enterprises. Similarly, 25% of the largest enterprises held or used copyrights, twice the proportion of 12% among the smallest.

In addition, 41% of the largest enterprises held or used trade-marks in 2010, compared with 11% of the smallest.

Note to readers

The pilot Survey of Intellectual Property Management, conducted between October 2011 and February 2012, sampled over 3,000 enterprises. It was funded by the federal Policy Research Data Group under the leadership of Industry Canada.

The survey targeted Canadian businesses that use some type of intellectual property, specifically patents, copyrights and trademarks. The survey was designed to fill a data gap concerning the use of intellectual property management practices. The selected industry groups employed by the survey were created using the North American Industrial Classification Systems (NAICS).

The selected industries represent: information and communication technology sector (excluding NAICS 81121); life sciences industries (NAICS 11251, 3254, 334512, 41451 and 54171); energy and mining (NAICS 21111, 2122, 213 and 22111); chemical manufacturing (NAICS 3251, 3252, 3253, 3255 and 3259); transportation equipment manufacturing (NAICS 336); broadcasting except Internet (NAICS 515); publishing except Internet and software publishers (NAICS 5111, 51911, 51913 and 51919); motion picture and video industries (NAICS 5121); and sound recording industries (NAICS 5122).

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table358-0172 to 358-0188.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number5183.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136;

To enquire about the concepts, methods, or data quality of this release, contact Rhonda John-Huggins (613-951-3181; or Louise Earl (613-951-2880;, Investment, Science and Technology Division.