On April 21, 2015 the Federal Government released its 2015 budget plan. The announcement contains
proposals to amend Canada's cornerstone IP Acts—the
Trademarks Act, Patent Act, Industrial Design Act, and
Copyright Act—to, in the Government's words,
"further modernize Canada's intellectual property
framework to keep pace with internationally recognized best
practices". The proposed changes continue the trend that we
saw started in last year's budget plan, of Canada positioning
itself to be able to accede to international IP treaties.
Trademarks Act,Patent Act, and Industrial
Design Act Amendments—Statutory Privilege and Force Majeure
The proposed changes to the Trademarks Act, Patent Act,
and Industrial Design Act will provide patent and
trademark agents with a statutory privilege for confidential
communications with clients. This should provide certainty
surrounding communications between clients and intellectual
property agents and will bring Canada in line with the approach
taken to such communications in other common law countries such as
Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The proposed
changes are also to provide the "Canadian Intellectual
Property Office with the ability to extend key deadlines in cases
of force majeure events such as floods or ice
storms", such as the Montreal-Ottawa ice storm of 1998, the
Eastern seaboard blackout of 2003, and the Calgary flood of
These changes—both with respect to statutory privilege and
force majeure relief—have been long sought by the IP
community in Canada, and are welcome.
Copyright Act Amendments—Performances, Sound
Recordings, and the Marrakesh Treaty
The budget plan recognizes that "[t]he mid-1960s were an
exciting time in Canadian music, producing many iconic Canadian
performers and recordings", and proposes changes to the
Copyright Act to extend the term of protection of sound
recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years following the first
release of the sound recording. These proposed changes are
discussed in more detail in a separate
article by Jill Tonus, Catherine Lovrics, and Tamara
The proposed changes are also intended to enable Canada to
implement and accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access
to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or
Otherwise Print Disabled.
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The Federal Court dismissed a motion by Apotex seeking particulars from Allergan's pleading relating to the prior art, inventive concept, promised utility and sound prediction of utility of the patents at issue.
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