Canada’s core IP statutes have been amended by Bill C-86, which received Royal Assent as the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, SC 2018, c 27 on December 14, 2018. The final version of the legislation includes amendments to the Patent Act that are substantially identical to the version that received first reading 46 days ago, on October 29, 2018. The patent-law changes in Bill C-86 are not specifically directed at pharmaceutical patentees, but have the potential to affect this area of litigation.

As we reported following first reading, the changes to the Patent Act include:

  • Patent prosecution history (file-wrapper) may be admitted in appropriate cases as evidence to rebut patentees’ representations regarding claims construction.
  • Exceptions to infringement concerning experimental use and continued acts first undertaken prior to the claim date have been revised and re-stated.
  • Regulation of demand letters and related offences have been introduced.
  • Provision has been made for standard-essential patents.

The omnibus budget Act also includes amendments to the Trade-marks Act and the Copyright Act; provides for a new College of Patent Agents and Trade-mark Agents Act; and effects changes to diverse legislative schemes impacting the IP regime, including privacy and bankruptcy.

We will be reporting on other implications of these amendments for Canadian IP here and on our Brands Protection Blog in the coming days — stay tuned.