On June 22, 2023, Canada’s federal government passed legislation (Bill C-47) introducing a system of general patent term adjustment (PTA). The provisions amending the Patent Act to introduce PTA passed without substantive amendment and are scheduled to come into force no later than January 1, 2025.
Canada’s new PTA system is intended to compensate patentees for “unreasonable delays” by the patent office in issuing a patent. Canada was required under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) to adopt a PTA system by 2025. Unlike Certificates of Supplementary Protection (CSP) available for pharmaceutical inventions, PTA is not limited to pharmaceutical patents and would apply to all eligible patents. However, and notably for pharmaceutical patentees, any PTA term would run concurrently with any CSP term. Further details of how the system will operate in practice are expected to be set out in regulations yet to be published.
For a more detailed summary of the key features of Canada’s new PTA regime, see our earlier post here.