On January 29, 2020, the Government introduced Bill C-4 to implement the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The Bill, sponsored by Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, was read for the first time the same day.

As we reported, the previous Government's CETA implementation bill (Bill C-100) died on the Order Paper as it was not passed into law before the federal election in October of 2019. Subsequently, the Intellectual Property Chapter of the CUSMA was amended to remove extended data protection for biologics. Although Bill C-4 includes an amendment to the Food and Drugs Act that authorizes regulations to implement the remaining data protection provisions of the CUSMA, the Government has indicated that Canada's data protection regime is already compliant and no changes to the existing regulations are required.

Like Bill C-100 before it, Bill C-4 does not contain any amendments to the Patent Act. Canada is still expected to amend the Patent Act to include patent term restoration (PTR) in accordance with Article 20.44 of the CUSMA, but has four-and-a-half years from the date the CUSMA comes into force to implement this provision. PTR will provide patentees with an adjustment procedure to compensate for Patent Office unreasonable delays in issuing a patent. This obligation will likely be the subject of future legislation.

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