Bill C-86, the budget bill that implements changes to the Patent Act, the Trade-marks Act and the Copyright Act, enacts the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act and makes changes for IP licenses in insolvency received royal assent yesterday. Bill C-86 received minor amendments as it went through parliament.
Introduced yesterday, budget bill C-86 includes changes to the Patent Act, Trade-marks Act, Copyright Act, enacts the College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act and makes changes for IP licenses in insolvency. Some highlights include a college to regulate agents, reform of the Copyright Board, allows patent file histories to be admissible to rebut claim constructions, add bad faith as a ground of opposition for trademarks, and adds requirements for notices under the notice-and-notice copyright regime.
A number of interesting announcements on World IP Day. The focus of the international focus on IP was on Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity. In Canada, the government announced a National IP Strategy having a number of components including $85.3 million over five years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access IP. Announced for IP tools, was more efficient dispute resolution and tariff setting at the Federal Court (more judges) and Copyright Board through more funding, formation of a patent collective, improvements to IP used in standards-setting processes, and an IP-specific marketplace. Announced legislative changes include:
- establishing minimum requirements for patent demand letters;
- excluding settlement demands from the copyright Notice and Notice regime;
- Requiring ‘use’ of a trademark to enforce it within the first three years;
- affirming the patent research exemption;
- clarifying the role of standard essential patents;
- allowing continued use of IP by licensees in liquidation proceedings; and
- creating a College of Patent and Trademark Agents to regulate agents.
In Europe, the UK announced today that it had ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.
Last week, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology announced the statutory review of the of the Copyright Act.
The United States Supreme Court has issued a couple of intellectual property decisions this week:
- Star Athletica, L. L. C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. where a majority found a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection only if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work—either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression—if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated. The particular facts related to cheerleading uniforms.
- SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC where a majority found that laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for patent infringement damages brought within the 6-year limitations period.
Following last week’s royal assent to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities), Canada formally ratified the Treaty on June 30. Now with 20 countries on board, the Treaty will come into force on September 30, 2016. Continue reading Marrakesh