CETA Implementation

Bill C-30 has been introduced to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe. The Bill includes amendments to the Patent Act, regarding supplementary protection for pharmaceutical products and altering the PM(NOC) procedure, and to the Trade-mark Act regarding geographic indicators with grounds of opposition and certain exceptions for prior use, acquired rights and generic terms. Amendments are also proposed to a number of other acts.

CETA has been in the works for many years (see earlier post) and is directed to harmonizing several areas for trade. For intellectual property, these issues relate primarily to patented pharmaceutical products and geographic indicators.

Bill C-30 (link to text) was introduced on Monday. For patents, the legislation adds the concept of a “Certificate of Supplementary Protection” which may be issued to effectively extend the term of the patent protection by up to two years (see new section 116(3)) when regulatory approvals delayed the approval of a medicinal ingredient (see in particular starting at new section 104). Earlier commentary suggested this would allow term extension of up to two years.

The scope for regulations for what is now the PM(NOC) Regulations have been substantially altered (see new section 55.2(3)) although regulations will contain the details of any new system. The summary says the amendments will allow “regulation-making authority in subsection 55.‍2(4) to permit the replacement of the current summary proceedings in patent litigation arising under regulations made under that subsection with full actions that will result in final determinations of patent infringement and validity”.

For trademarks, the amendments are primary directed to geographic indicators, such as for wine, spirit, agricultural product or food. New tests for confusion are included for geographic indicators (see new section 11.11(3) and (4)) and details of maintaining and objecting to geographic indicators.