After four years of negotiations, Canada and the European Union
today signed a significant trade deal which includes elements
directed towards intellectual property protection for life sciences
patentees. While no text has yet been finalized, the two
elements of particular interest for the life sciences industry are
reported to include:
addressing inequity under the Patented Medicines (Notice of
Compliance) Regulations, under which patentees whose patents
are challenged by generic companies do not have an equal right of
appeal in litigation; and
allowing a period of patent term restoration, up to two years,
for patents whose duration has been eroded by time spent in
regulatory review thereby resulting in a diminished patent
While the elements of the agreement have been announced, the
agreement must undergo the approval processes required by the EU
and its 28 Member States, as well as Canada's provinces and
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A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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