Intellectual Property, Canada updates

Top 10 changes to Canada's trademark law
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 17 June 2019

After five years of anticipation, sweeping changes to Canada's trademark law have finally come into force. Among other things, Canadian applicants can now file applications in more than 80 countries around the world through a single international application and declarations of use are no longer required to secure registrations.

Prior user rights under recently amended Patent Act
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 17 June 2019

The Budget Implementation Act 2 has brought about several changes to the Patent Act that affect the scope of protection available under Canadian patents, including a revision of Section 56, which concerns the rights of prior users of patented technologies. However, as many of the Section 56 amendments will require judicial interpretation, the true scope of prior user rights under the revised provision may be unknown for some time.

Procedural decisions under PMNOC Regulations: common validity issues and naming of defendants
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 10 June 2019

In two recent cases, the Federal Court considered procedural decisions in actions under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations. In one case, the court ordered that common validity issues in actions relating to Bayer's Xarelto against Apotex and Teva will be heard concurrently. In another case, the court refused to allow the plaintiffs to name additional Teva parties as further defendants in three actions relating to Celltrion's Herzuma, a trastuzumab biosimilar of Roche's Herceptin.

Nice Classification with a trap – Canada introduces class top-up fees with no back door
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 10 June 2019

With the long-awaited changes to the Trademarks Act and Regulations imminent, brand owners should be excited about Canada's alignment with international trademark standards and the new opportunities that these changes will bring. However, brand owners should be aware that Canada has adopted a unique policy concerning the required filing fees which differs significantly from the general practice of other member countries.

New oncology initiative and Health Canada study on biosimilar drugs
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 27 May 2019

The new pan-Canadian Oncology Biosimilars Initiative aims to ensure appropriate implementation and cost-effective use of therapeutic oncology biosimilars. Separately, Health Canada recently announced that it is collaborating with the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network on a project to study patients with certain diseases who are taking biologic drugs. The study aims to compare the safety and effectiveness of biosimilar drugs to the reference biologic drug.

Filing fee for certificates of supplementary protection now increased
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 27 May 2019

In accordance with Section 9(1) of the Certificate of Supplementary Protection (CSP) Regulations, the fee for filing a CSP recently increased. This article sets out a number of important reminders relating to CSPs and annual maintenance fees.

Amendments to Patented Medicines Regulations expected to come into force no earlier than Spring 2020
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 20 May 2019

Health Canada recently released its Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021: Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations. This brief document provides a high-level overview of the anticipated amendments released in draft form on 2 December 2017, the expected impact of these amendments and the consultation process.

Act now: follow this to-do list to save money on Canadian trademarks before 17 June 2019
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 20 May 2019

Canada's trademark regime is changing, bringing about dramatic amendments to the law, regulations and practice. These long-awaited changes will have a significant impact on brand owners in terms of both strategy and costs. In order to prepare for the changes, brand owners should consider renewing and classifying registrations, filing multi-class applications, pushing allowed applications to registration and ensuring that all portfolios are troll-proof before the new law enters into force on 17 June 2019.

Competition Bureau publishes final updated IP Enforcement Guidelines
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 13 May 2019

The Competition Bureau recently published the final version of its updated IP Enforcement Guidelines (IPEGs). As noted by the bureau, the "updates are modest". Most of the changes to the IPEGs reflect the 2017 amendments to the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and, in particular, the termination of dual litigation.

On the (Quebec health) record: Quebec government liable for patent infringement
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 13 May 2019

In a digital-age David versus Goliath case, the Federal Court recently held that the Quebec government had infringed two patents owned by Dr Luc Bessette relating to a shared medical records system that he had invented 20 years ago. This is the first time that the Quebec government has been held liable for patent infringement and the decision provides important guidance to institutions, enterprises and inventors alike.

Supreme Court denies Apotex leave to appeal decision regarding India facilities
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 06 May 2019

In 2017 the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Apotex's appeal of a judicial review decision of the Therapeutic Products Directorate, which required Apotex to submit additional information concerning products manufactured or tested in its facilities in India. The Supreme Court recently dismissed Apotex's application for leave to appeal.

Federal Court finds invalidity allegations relating to patent for metformin formulations unjustified
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 22 April 2019

Valeant Canada's application for an order prohibiting the minister of health from issuing a notice of compliance to Generic Partners for its generic version of Valeant's Glumetza, a metformin formulation, was recently granted. With respect to anticipation and double patenting, the court found that the prior art document on which Generic Partners had relied for both allegations did not disclose all three of the size, shape and time elements of the claimed formulations.

Save money: renew all trademark registrations now
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 15 April 2019

The new trademark law will take effect on 17 June 2019. Among the changes is a new fee-per-class structure, under which the government renewal fee will be C$400 for the first class and C$125 for each additional class. Brand owners can potentially realise huge savings if they take steps to renew all of their existing Canadian trademark registrations before the new law takes effect.

Apotex seeks leave from Supreme Court of Canada in cefaclor damages action
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 15 April 2019

The Federal Court of Appeal recently allowed in part Apotex's appeal of a decision awarding Eli Lilly more than C$100 million for Apotex's infringement of eight process patents relating to the antibiotic cefaclor. The court rejected Apotex's argument that a non-infringing alternative would have been available to Apotex during the relevant period. The case was remitted to the Federal Court for reconsideration on the issue of prejudgment interest; Apotex has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal.

Save money: file your multi-class applications now
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 25 March 2019

Canadian trademark law will be overhauled on 17 June 2019, with many significant changes – both procedural and substantive – coming into effect. This article discusses the important strategies to consider before these changes take effect, including tips that could save time and money now and in future.

Orders of prohibition relating to polymorphic form patent for Pristiq upheld on appeal
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 18 March 2019

In a pair of decisions, the Federal Court granted orders prohibiting Apotex and Teva from marketing their generic o-desmethyl-venlafaxine succinate products until the expiration of Patent 2,436,668. Both Apotex and Teva appealed the decisions, claiming – among other things – that the application judge had misapplied the test for obviousness and erred in considering several aspects of the inventors' course of conduct. However, the Federal Court of Appeal recently dismissed both parties' appeals.

2018 round-up: notable trademark case law
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 04 March 2019

A number of trademark cases were heard by the Canadian courts in 2018, including a decision on a motion for summary judgment brought by Duracell, a decision on whether Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited's trademarks were confusing in light of new survey evidence filed on appeal and a decision on whether retail store services require a brick-and-mortar establishment or direct delivery of products to Canada to constitute use of a trademark in Canada.

Trademarks in Canada: a year of change and global harmony
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 04 March 2019

Canada's trademarks profession had an exciting 2018. The long-awaited changes to the Trademarks Act were announced, many of which will bring Canada into line with the rest of the world. In addition, further unexpected legislative developments were announced, which will significantly affect trademark protection.

Apotex seeks leave to appeal ramipril pleadings amendment decision
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 25 February 2019

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.

Abbott and Takeda plead that third party's patent would be infringed by non-infringing alternative
Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh
  • Canada
  • 25 February 2019

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.

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