The latest round of the Canada – EU trade agreement negotiations recently concluded in Brussels and Canadian officials provided an update to civil society groups on Friday. While officials indicated that there has been progress on many fronts, the intellectual property chapter is not one of them. The EU is demanding dramatic changes to Canadian intellectual property law including significant reforms to copyright, patent, and geographical indications (more on the CETA IP provisions and their implications here and here).
Officials indicated that it was difficult to discuss the copyright chapter without the return of Bill C-32. Once a bill is tabled, they expect talks on the issue to accelerate. In addition to the substantive provisions found in C-32, the EU is also focused on enforcement-related provisions. Officials indicated that the EU demands will likely be similar to those found in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. They acknowledged that new legislation will needed to comply with these treaties, suggesting that a second copyright bill focused on enforcement (including new border measures provisions) will quickly follow the C-32 bill. On the patent front, the large brand name pharmaceutical companies are supporting further change to Canadian law, while the generic pharmaceutical companies oppose reforms. The issue is a big priority for the EU, but no progress was made to resolve the stalemate.