On March 13, 2020, the Government passed Bill C-4 to implement the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Canada will be the third and final party to ratify the treaty.

The Bill, sponsored by Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, was introduced on January 29, 2020. The Bill was recently expedited in order to ensure that it passed before both Houses adjourned at the end of the week over concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.

As we reported, 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.

The obligation to provide increased data protection for biologics was removed in December 2019 amendments to CUSMA.