On October 23, 2014, the Canadian Federal government introduced
Bill C-43, an omnibus budget bill also known
as the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2. The Bill,
which includes amendments to the Income Tax Act and
Aeronautics Act, and the creation of the Canadian High
Arctic Research Station, includes important changes to intellectual
property law in Canada.
Of note, the Industrial Design
Act will be made consistent with the Geneva Act of the
Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of
Industrial Designs, and amendments made to the Patent
Act to make it consistent with the provisions of the
Patent Law Treaty. The summary of the Bill states:
Division 1 of
Part 4 amends the Industrial Design Act to make that Act
consistent with the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement
Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and
to give the Governor in Council the authority to make regulations
for carrying it into effect. The amendments include provisions
relating to the contents of an application for the registration of
a design, requests for priority, and the term of an exclusive right
for a design.
It also amends
the Patent Act to, among other things, make that Act
consistent with the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty. The
amendments include reducing the requirements for obtaining a filing
date in relation to an application for a patent, requiring that an
applicant be notified of a missed due date before an application is
deemed to be abandoned, and providing that a patent may not be
invalidated for non-compliance with certain requirements relating
to the application on the basis of which the patent was
The Bill also specifically
addresses the issues of maintenance fees, specifying how late fees
are to be handled, and how a filing date is to be applied to
outstanding documents, applications deemed never filed, and
additions to an application.
Interestingly, the much discussed
proposed amendment to the Copyright Act to allow
politicians and political parties to use news content without the
consent of broadcasters was not included in Bill C-43. The proposed
amendment had met notable resistance from broadcasters and the
opposition political parties.
A more detailed analysis of Bill
C-43's effect on Canadian patent and industrial design law will
follow in the coming days.
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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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