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In disruptive quantum sector, Canada risks coming ‘third in a two-man race’ for IP

An illustration accompanying D-Wave System’s utility patent for input and output systems and devices for use with a supercomputing device, granted in October 2018.
An illustration accompanying D-Wave System’s utility patent for input and output systems and devices for use with a supercomputing device, granted in October 2018. U.S. Patent Office
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The benefits from quantum technology breakthroughs at Canadian startups and research labs could flow to foreign firms because of gaps in Canada’s approach to securing intellectual property, scientists and IP lawyers are warning.

The federal government has funded quantum science and companies, hoping advances in computing, cryptography and other applications will lead to major new economic opportunities. With the sector still in its early days, remedying shortcomings in policy and education shortcomings could help ensure the country profits from those innovations. “Harnessing IP is essential to actually take [market share] that’s proportional to [Canada’s] work in the field,” said Alexandre Daoust, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright.

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