The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed by Canada and the European Union on October 30, 2016. The Canadian government has indicated that Canada intends to implement the provisions of CETA by legislation in the near term.
The purpose of CETA is to stimulate trade by aligning trade rules and reducing tariffs between the European Union and Canada. As a result, there will be changes to certain areas of intellectual property law relating to patents and trademarks.
Pharmaceutical Patents – New pharmaceutical patent laws to be implemented under CETA include patent term extension relating to delays in the regulatory approval process for pharmaceuticals to provide an extension term of up to two years (as calculated by subtracting five years from the period beginning on the patent’s filing date and ending on the date of issuance of regulatory approval in the form of a Notice of Compliance). Additionally, there will be a provision for a right to appeal for pharmaceutical innovators under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations and the possibility of termination of the option to pursue litigation under both the Patent Act and the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations.
Geographical Indications – Geographical indications are governed in Canada under the Trade-marks Act as indications of the place of origin of certain products that are closely connected to the products themselves. At present, only certain wine and spirits are protected as geographical indications in Canada. Under CETA, geographical indications in Canada will expand to cover many a number of additional agricultural products and foodstuffs such as meats and cheeses.
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