On the eve of a Section 8 trial, the Ontario Superior Court granted Abbott and Takeda leave to amend their pleadings to assert that Apotex's alleged non-infringing alternative was unlawful as it would have infringed a third party's patent. The court found that Apotex had not established that it would be prejudiced by the amendment, as any delay to the trial could be compensated by costs and an adjournment if appropriate.
The Ontario Court of Appeal granted Sanofi and Schering leave to amend their defences to plead the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in AstraZeneca Canada Inc v Apotex Inc. In the underlying action, Apotex relied on the invalidity decision in Sanofi-Aventis Canada v Apotex Inc as a central element of its novel claims under the Ontario Statute of Monopolies, the UK Statute of Monopolies and the Trademarks Act. Apotex recently applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
A number of patent decisions were taken by the Canadian courts in 2018, including one concerning a relatively rare interlocutory injunction and several others decided on the merits. Damages totalling C$7,915,000 were awarded in one case based on lost profits and reasonable royalties, as well as compound interest, but the justice refused to award punitive damages. Several of the decisions remain under appeal.
Canada saw a range of disparate patent law developments in 2018, including the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Separate from this, the second federal budget bill for 2018 introduced a series of amendments to the Patent Act, which concern diverse matters such as licensing commitments on standard-essential patents and the role of the prosecution history in claim construction.
There have been a number of key developments in Canadian life sciences IP and regulatory law over the past 12 months, including a consultation on the different approaches to the naming of biological drugs. Among other developments, four biosimilars were approved, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health announced revisions to its biosimilar and administrative review process and significant proposed amendments to the Patent Rules were released.