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19 November 2018
On 29 October 2018 the government introduced Bill C-86. The bill is omnibus legislation, over 850 pages in length, and addresses diverse subjects including income tax, money laundering and greenhouse gas emissions pricing. Numerous amendments and additions to Canadian IP legislation are proposed.
The bill amends the Patent Act, in order to, among other things:
The bill amends the Trademarks Act, in order to, among other things:
The Copyright Act is amended to specify that certain information is not permitted to be included within a notice under the notice and notice regime and to provide for a regulation-making power to prohibit further types of information from being included within such a notice. More particularly, a notice of claimed infringement may not contain an offer to settle, a request or demand for payment, a reference to any such request or demand or any other information as set out by regulation.
The act is also amended to modernise the legislative framework relating to the Copyright Board so as to improve the timeliness and clarity of its proceedings and decision-making processes.
The bill enacts the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents Act, establishing for the first time a distinct regulatory body governing the practice of the patent and trademark agent professions in the public interest. The act will, among other things:
Amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act provide that IP users may preserve their usage rights when IP rights are, for example, sold or disposed of in an insolvency proceeding.
Amendments to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act provide that the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any information subject to patent or trademark agent/client privilege as provided for in the Patent Act and the Trademarks Act.
Amendments clarify that the National Research Council of Canada is a corporation empowered to acquire, hold, sell or otherwise dispose of property; that it may license, sell or otherwise grant or make available to others any IP right that it holds, develops, administers or controls; and that any invention made by a public servant, as defined in the Public Servants Inventions Act, or any patent issued with respect to the invention, is vested in the council.
The introduction and first reading of the bill in the House of Commons have been completed. Subsequent steps in the house will include second reading, committee stage, report stage and finally third reading. After passage of the bill by the house, a similar process will take place in the Senate, followed by royal assent and implementation of the bill. Historically, only very limited amendments are made to omnibus budget bills during their progress through Parliament.
The changes introduced by the bill are in addition to the many amendments to the Trademarks Act and Patent Act yet to be brought into force. These changes represent continuing efforts by the government to update and modernise Canada's IP legislation and ensure that it is compliant with Canada's international obligations.
For further information on this topic please contact David Schwartz or Emily Miller at Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh by telephone (+1 613 232 2486) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh website can be accessed at www.smart-biggar.ca.
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