Canada has completed domestic ratification of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA, also referred to as USMCA or new NAFTA). As we reported, Canada introduced Bill C-4 to implement CUSMA on January 29, 2020 and it received royal assent as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement Implementation Act (CUSMA Implementation Act) on March 13, 2020.

No coming-into-force date for CUSMA has been set. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stated: “The Canadian government will continue to work with the United States and Mexican governments to determine an ‘entry into force’ date that is mutually beneficial” and that she is “hopeful that the new NAFTA will enter into force later this year.”

Changes to Patent Act still to come

As we reported, the CUSMA Implementation Act does not include any amendments to the Patent Act. To implement its CUSMA obligations, Canada is expected to introduce separate legislation including patent-term restoration to compensate for “unreasonable delays” in the issuance of a patent. Canada must implement patent-term restoration no later than 4.5 years after the date of entry into force of CUSMA.