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Protection of Intellectual Property

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) is the Canadian copyright collective for the public performance of musical works. SOCAN publishes Words & Music, a magazine devoted to current issues affecting Canadian artists.Intellectual property is any original product of human thought. Increasingly, in industrial societies, policy makers and academics are placing more and more importance on intellectual property as a major factor in the health of our economies. The current emphasis upon the importance of the knowledge-based economy emphasizes the importance of identifying and protecting intellectual property and the ownership of inventions, creations and ideas.

Unique creations of human intellect are infinite in number and diversity, and defining what constitutes intellectual property is, therefore, difficult and, at times, controversial. When they are defined, however, forms of intellectual property include inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, trade secrets and geographic names. All of these manifestations of intellectual property can be protected, while still allowing for creativity and ensuring the exchange of ideas.

In Canada, the most familiar tools for intellectual property protection are the trade secret, trademark, copyright and patent. Some of these are more effective and official than others, and are maintained and enforced in different ways. They are all vital components in the innovation process, however, and each inventor, innovator or creator needs to know about them and the rights they hold over their intellectual property. In this section we expand upon these avenues for protection, as well as the controversy that often accompanies them.

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