Earlier this week, CIPO and the European Patent Office announced a memorandum of understanding to establish a Patent Prosecution Highway between the two offices to expedite patent applications. In other European news, the text of CETA, the Canada/Europe Trade Agreement was officially published.

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Competition and Patents

The Competition Bureau has released a couple of documents on competition issues and patents, addressing among other things non-use of an IP right and potentially anti-competitive patent litigation settlement agreements.

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IP and 3D printing

3D printing raises interesting issues in all areas of intellectual property. What types of intellectual property will be used by rights holders and how will copyright, trade-marks, industrial design and patents be enforced against providers and users of 3D printers? I explore some of these issues in an article published today.

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“Promise Doctrine”

Canada has filed its Statement of Defence in Eli Lilly’s NAFTA challenge to the ‘promise utility doctrine’ applied by Canadian courts to invalidate its Strattera and Zyprexa patents. The Statement of Defence characterizes Eli Lilly’s claims as, among other things, seeking to transform the NAFTA tribunal into “a supranational court of appeal from reasoned, principled, and procedurally just domestic court decisions.”

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Trade-mark Agent Exams

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has announced that the Trade-mark Agent Qualifying Examination will be held on November 25, 2014 with a deadline for applying of September 4, 2014. This is the first examination since the exemption for lawyers was removed.

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Comparative Biologics

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Abbvie Deutschland Gmbh & Co. v. Janssen Biotech, Inc. relating to patents on directed to antibodies that bind to and neutralize the activity of human interleukin 12. The CAFC found there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find the patents invalid for lack of written description.

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US Performance Rights

A majority of the United States Supreme Court ruled in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc. that Aereo transmits a performance to the public by sending television signals it receives over the air from individual antennas to subscribers over the internet.

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Parts of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation come into force one week today, on July 1, 2014. The controversial legislation addresses all “Commercial Electronic Messages”, messages that have as one of their purposes, to encourage participation in a commercial activity.

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Trade-mark Act Amendments

Bill C-31, a budget bill that among other things, amends the Trade-marks Act passed third reading in the Senate yesterday. It is expected to receive royal assent soon, perhaps as early as this evening. The date of entry into force will be determined by an Order in Council.

[Update: Bill C-31 did receive Royal Assent this evening, June 19, 2014. See the status on the Parliament of Canada website.]

Alice v CLS Bank

The United States Supreme Court affirmed the en banc CAFC decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l that the claims were directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea.

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