Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Effect

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Effect

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed by Canada and the European Union last year, resulting in amendments to Canadian legislation to implement its provisions. Legislative amendments to the Patent Act and the Trade-marks Act came into force on September 21, 2017, including the implementation of patent term extensions for pharmaceutical drug products and the expansion of geographical indications.

Certificates of Supplementary Protection for Approved Drug Products

A Certificate of Supplementary Protection (CSP) has been introduced which provides a possible additional period of protection after a patent expires for drugs containing a new medicinal ingredient. A CSP is intended to partly compensate for time spent in research and obtaining marketing authorization for the drug, and confers the exclusive right to prevent the manufacture, use or sale of the patented drug. A CSP can be granted for a term of up to two years, with the term being calculated as the difference between the date of filing the patent application and the date of issuance of the authorization for sale of the drug in Canada (i.e. a Notice of Compliance or “NOC”), minus five years.

Geographical Indications

Geographical indications (GIs) are signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin, such as “Canadian Whisky” or “Feta” cheese. A GI cannot be used in association with either a product that does not originate from the specific territory with which it is associated, or a product not produced in accordance with the laws and regulations governing the specific territory. Prior to September 21, 2017, GIs in Canada were limited to wines and spirits. Now, GIs have been expanded to cover additional agricultural products and foodstuffs such as meats and cheeses. A number of additional GIs have been registered in Canada since the law has changed, and as a result we are seeing changes in advertising and packaging of food-related products sold in Canada.

For more information on the intellectual property implications of CETA, please contact Melanie Ward at