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  • Intellectual Capital Governance and the Knowledge Economy in Canada

    Anthony Michael Hoffmann Faculty of Law, McGili University, Montral

    August, 2003

    Athesis submitted to McGiII University in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Laws

    Anthony Michael Hoffmann, 2003

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  • Abstract

    Intellectual capital, as opposed to traditional conceptions of intellectual property, is neither as simple to define nor as straightforward to protect and regu-late. As companies in the financial services sector attempt the efficient manage-ment of increasingly voluminous and strategically important information and knowledge, governance mechanisms currently available in the Canadian context have not kept pace.

    This thesis is at once a retrospective and prospective examination of the regulation and control of intellectual capital. The first two substantive sections of this thesis are primarily definitive and contextualizing - first defining the nature of contemporary legal and managerial concepts of intellectual capital and property, then examining the varied legal frameworks from which an intellectual capital governance scheme is distilled. The final chapter attempts a synthesis of these definitions and legal approaches to the governance of intellectual capital. The keystones of this synthesis are twofold: first, uniform Canadian legislation; and second, a more focused incorporation of 'property rights' in intellectual capital.

    Rsum

    Le capital intellectuel, l'oppos des conceptions traditionnelles de la pro-prit intellectuelle, n'est pas aussi facile dfinir, et sa rglementation ainsi que sa protection sont encore plus compliques. Au fur et mesure que les compa-gnies dans le secteur des services financiers tentent la gestion efficace d'un vo-lume d'informations et de connaissances de plus en plus important, les procdu-res et les rglements actuellement disponibles au Canada n'ont pu se dvelopper assez rapidement pour soutenir les exigences.

    La prsente thse est un examen la fois rtrospectif et prospectif de la rglementation et du contrle du capital intellectuel. Les deux premiers chapitres de la prsente thse ont pour principal but la dfinition et la mise en contexte du problme - en premier lieu, la dfinition de la nature des concepts lgaux et de gestion la fois du capital et de la proprit intellectuelle, et, en deuxime lieu, l'examen de l'encadrement contemporain des lois qui crent le capital intellec-tuel. Le dernier chapitre constitue une synthse de ces dfinitions et de ces ap-proches juridiques afin d'obtenir une structure cohrente du capital intellectuel. Les cls de cette synthse sont au nombre de deux: premirement, l'uniformit de la lgislation canadienne; et deuximement, une synthse plus cible des concepts de la proprit dans le capital intellectuel.

  • Acknowledgements

    This thesis would not have been possible without the support and assistance of a number of individuals, ail of to whom 1 owe an immense debt of gratitude. The mental gymnastics 1 have tried to perform were with the certain knowledge that 1 would be caught without question before hitting the ground.

    ln particular, 1 would like to express my gratitude ta my advisor, Professor David Lametti, for his patience, understanding, and critical and constructive eye, as weil as for his trust in my abilities. Professor Lametti never failed to let me do my own thing, and for that 1 am very grateful.

    Equally important was the continued maintenance of my mental health by so many of my friends. Near or far, their ability to make me laugh when 1 least felt like laughing was more important than 1 can adequately express. Cheryl Plam-beck, Nathalie Cousserans, Jono Kalles, Jon Greer and many others were ail an enormously important part of making this thesis possible.

    At the last, there is no way 1 can thank my parents, Dr. Joan Eakin and Chris Hoffmann, and my sisters Willa and Marian enough. They gave me the opportu-nit y to get where 1 am today and their unconditional love and help along the way.

    - Tony Hoffmann August, 2003

    ii

  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements ............................................................................................. ii Table of Contents ............................................................................................... iii Table of Figures .................................................................................................. iv Chapter 1 Thesis Overview ............................................................................ 1

    1.1 Introduction ........................................................................................... 1 1.2 Intellectual Property & Intellectual Capital ......................................... 2 1.3 Thesis Objective: .................................................................................. 5 1.4 Thesis Methodology: ............................................................................ 6

    1.4.1 Preliminary Definitions ..................................................................... 6 1.4.2 Current Legal Regimes .................................................................... 8 1.4.3 A Reconceptualization of Intellectual Capital Governance ............. 10

    1.5 Applied Comparative Legal Methodology ......................................... 11 Chapter 2 Defining Terms in an Intellectual Capital Protection Regime .. 13

    2.1 Introduction ......................................................................................... 13 2.2 Intellectual Capital .............................................................................. 13

    2.2. 1 The Zurich Insurance Model .......................................................... 17 2.2.1.1 Human Capital ............................................................................................ 18 2.2.1.2 Structural Capital ........................................................................................ 21

    2.3 Intellectual Property ........................................................................... 27 2.4 Conclusion .......................................................................................... 28

    Chapter 3 Current Legal Regimes ................................................................ 30 3.1 Introduction ......................................................................................... 30 3.2 Intellectual Property in the Intellectual Capital Context .................. 31 3.3 Trade Secrets and Intellectual Capital Governance ......................... 39

    3.3.1 Trade Secret in United States ....................................................... .42 3.3.2 NAFTA Treatment of Trade Secret ............................................... .45 3.3.3 World Trade Organization Treatment of Trade Secret .................. .48 3.3.4 Trade Secret in Canada ................................................................. 50

    3.3.4.1 The Mutual Fund Industry Example ........................................................... 55 3.4 Persona"nformation Regulation Regimes ....................................... 59

    3.4.1 Introduction .................................................................................... 59 3.4.2 Personal information and privacy in the commercial context ......... 61 3.4.3 Canadian Federal Treatment ......................................................... 64

    3.4.3.1 Financiallnstitutions Regulation ................................................................. 69 3.4.4 Canadian Provincial Treatment ...................................................... 70 3.4.5 American Treatment ...................................................................... 75 3.4.6 Conclusion .............................................

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