The CIPP takes a comparative, transdisciplinary, and contextual view of the role of intellectual property and allied regimes to creativity and innovation. With funding from Canada and internationally, the CIPP has an ambitious research agenda in the following areas: 

Drug discovery 

Facing declining levels of research and innovation productivity, the biopharmaceutical sector needs new approaches to bringing new drugs and vaccines to market and to make them accessible around the globe. Drawing not only traditional intellectual property but allied forms, such as regulatory data exclusivity, CIPP researchers are at the cutting edge in deploying open science to develop a new preclinical platform (TRIDENT) to make go/no-go decisions early in drug development and an open science drug discovery ecosystem through the Viral Medicines Initiative (VIMI).


The gap between intellectual property – the creative element – and innovation – the delivery of a product or service – requires strategy, governance, financing, and legal framework. CIPP scholars investigate questions ranging from the policy environment giving rise to intellectual property regimes, rethinking how researchers and firms deploy intellectual property to deliver innovations, to examining how intellectual property rules affect the consumers of innovation.  

Artificial Intelligence 

Large language models may be the rage, but they raise significant intellectual property and privacy issues. Deep and machine learning models offer, on the other hand, new mechanisms – that we do not fully understand – to solve problems ranging from protein folding, diagnostics, to innovating new products and services. Researchers at the CIPP consider the implications of these various forms of artificial intelligence on innovation systems, privacy, and intellectual property law. 

Regulation of Innovation 

Invention and innovation do not occur in a vacuum: the implicate people, firms, and markets. CIPP researchers examine the links between people’s privacy and data, competition between firms, and interactions between actors through the markets and regulatory environments. The distribution of regulatory sites – governments, communities, firms, and civil society – sets up a complex environment that no single legal regime can regulate.  

Intellectual property and the arts 

Researchers at the CIPP concentrate on the relevance of intellectual property to artistic communities, particularly in music and related to other audio-visual digital media. For example, they  examine how intellectual property does and should protect artistic creation and improvisation, what makes an artistic work artistic, and whether a machine can replace artists. 

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