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Canada oil patent suits stir fears of technology slowdown

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Canada oil patent suits stir fears of technology slowdown


A subtle shift is under way in the Canadian oil industry, where collegial collaboration over vital new extraction technology is yielding to corporate protectionism in the race to profit from the world's third-largest reserves.

Canadian energy companies are filing four times more oil and gas technology patents than they did a decade ago and are increasingly turning to the courts to protect the processes and innovations that can make the difference between a profitable oil sands reservoir and an idle tract of land.

The change is in some ways predictable. Oil sands development has raced ahead over the past decade as conventional resources around the world decline, and companies are spending billions of dollars to develop better and cheaper methods to extract the heavy bitumen trapped underground.

But the more secretive approach threatens to discourage a long tradition of collaboration among the tight-knit community of petroleum engineers in Calgary, Canada's oil center, many of them working within an eight-block-square grid downtown.


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(These latest Intellectual Property (IP) news and events presented here, are prepared and compiled by us, the World Patent & Trademark Law Office (WPTO),for your reference and information)