Myra J. Tawfik

Don Rodzik Family Chair in Law and Entrepreneurship and Distinguished University Professor

B.A Hons. (McGill), LL.B (McGill), B.C.L (McGill), LL.M (Queen Mary College, London-Intellectual Property Law), of Osgoode Hall, Barrister-at-law, also of the Bar of Quebec (1986-2000)

Myra Tawfik is Distinguished University Professor and the inaugural Don Rodzik Family Chair in Law and Entrepreneurship at the University of Windsor. She is a Senior Fellow at  the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Professor Tawfik also served as Associate Dean (1998-2000), Acting Dean (2011) and Interim Dean (2017) of the Faculty of Law.

Professor Tawfik is an expert in intellectual property law, especially copyright law, copyright history and capacity-building in IP literacy for start-ups and entrepreneurs. In relation to copyright history, she was the recipient of a visiting scholarship from the American Antiquarian Society, and a fellowship from the University of Windsor’s Humanities Research Group. She was the President of the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture from 2016-2019, and its Vice-President from 2012-2016.

Among her copyright history publications, she was the co-editor of a Special issue of the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and her research on copyright history has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada. Her book For the Encouragement of Learning: The Origins of Canadian Copyright Law (University of Toronto Press, 2023) is the culmination of nearly 20 years of research and, to date, is the subject of podcast interviews for New Books Network and the Champlain Society’s Witness to Yesterday

Professor Tawfik has also founded and led a number of multidisciplinary clinics, knowledge mobilization and community outreach projects designed to provide Canadian start-ups and innovators with IP literacy skills and access to affordable IP legal services. She was a member of the province of Ontario’s expert panel on the commercialization of public sector IP and is an advisor to the province on IP education. Her co-authored massive open online course, Foundations of IP Strategy, has become the provincial standard curriculum on intellectual property literacy for start-ups.

Recent Publications:

"For the Encouragement of Learning: The Origins of Canadian Copyright Law" Myra Tawfik (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 2023). 

“Copyright History as Book History: The Law in Multidisciplinary Context” – in Paul Torremans, (ed.), Research Handbook on Copyright Law, 2nd edition (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2017).

“Universities are Failing to Equip Entrepreneurs for Patent Battles: Designing an IP 2.0 Curriculum”, CIGI New Thinking on Innovation Series (CIGI, 2017)

“Copyright and Freedom of Expression in Canada" chapter in Torremans, P., ed., Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights 3rd ed., (The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2015).

"International Copyright Law, Access to Knowledge and Social Justice", chapter 12 in Ilcan S., ed., Mobilities, Knowledge and Social Justice (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013).

“The Supreme Court of Canada and the “Fair Dealing Trilogy”: Elaborating a Doctrine of User Rights under Canadian Copyright Law” (2013) 51 Alta LR 191.

 “Taking an Active Approach in Entrepreneurial Mentoring Programs Geared Toward Immigrants”, Journal of Entrepreneurship, 21 (2), 201 (2012) (with Francine Schlosser).

 “Overcoming Obstacles to the Effective Commercialization of Student Innovation on University Campuses” Report to SSHRC - Knowledge-Synthesis Grant on Higher Education R&D (2012) (with Francine Schlosser and Wissam Aoun).

 “The Future of International Intellectual Property Law: Remembering the Past” -(2012) 89 UDM Law Review 373.

Recent Op-Eds and Commentaries:

Five critical components of a balanced, modern Canadian copyright system” (with Pascale Chapdelaine), The Globe and Mail, December 5, 2018. 
“Make the Innovation Chain as Literate in IP as ABCs”, Financial Post, November 15, 2018.
“Why it’s so important for Canadians to be able to leverage their intellectual property”, The Globe & Mail, May 1, 2018 

The Globe and Mail, June 17, 2015- To Support Canadian Start-Ups offer Pro Bono Legal Clinics  (with James Hinton).

Commentary: What is Canada's International Copyright Policy?

CIGI Podcast: Inside the Issues 5.20: Intellectual Property Rights- April 29, 2015