What is Sidewalk Labs?


Last fall The Globe and Mail revealed that Sidewalk Labs is taking steps to control the intellectual property (IP) generated through its partnership with Waterfront Toronto in the Sidewalk Toronto project. While most of the public discourse about this controversial project has focused on data privacy and governance issues with Waterfront Toronto, we need to be equally concerned with the intellectual property rights (IPRs) arising through this public-private partnership (P3) agreement.

The economic opportunity for Canada from smart cities is enormous, with Arup Consulting estimating the current value of the smart-cities segment at $1.3-trillion and growing at 16 per cent a year. If Canada wants to capitalize on smart cities and other artificial intelligence (AI) market opportunities, we need an IP strategy that allows Canada to exploit such opportunities.

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