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O Canada

Are you a Canadian scientist? Are you considering patenting an invention? "You might want to move to Switzerland," says Paul Krzyzanowski on the Stem Cell Network Blog. A recent article in Toronto's Globe and Mail compared Canada's patenting activity to that of other countries — Switzerland led the world with 120 patents issued per million people in 2007, and Japan trailed close behind with 118 per million people. The United States and Canada came in with 40 patents per million people and 20 patents per million people, respectively, the Globe and Mail reports. "In other words, when examining all industries together, the Swiss are six times as productive as Canadians in terms of patents per person," Krzyzanowski says. "This data presents a sobering reality for Canada. While it's very unlikely that Canada will ever lead the world based on volumes of patents, we're clearly lagging." Additionally, while Canadian biotechnology patent volume was above average, the intellectual property is considered to be "of lower technological importance on a global level," he adds. The report also showed a "disconnect" between discovery and commercialization. "There is still a vision to continue developing Canada as a major exporter of intellectual property with the necessary infrastructure being streamlined, but a strong culture of commercialization and entrepreneurship is critical to make things move as well," Krzyzanowski says. "Maybe we need to take a lesson or two from the Swiss."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.