Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, was the Canadian government’s legislative response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition a host of economic measures, the bill included some unexpected patent law provisions designed to speed access to essential medicines, devices or treatments. Matthew Herder, the director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, joins the podcast discuss the new Canadian rules, the use of compulsory licensing to enhance access to medicines, and other innovative approaches to overcoming potential access barriers raised by intellectual property laws.
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The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 46: Matthew Herder on the Canadian Effort to Break Down Patent Barriers to Accessing Coronavirus Medicines
I appeared earlier this week before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of its review of Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act. The bill features extensive intellectual property provisions arising out of the IP strategy referenced in Budget 2018. My comments were consistent with previous posts on the changes to notice-and-notice, patents, and the Copyright Board. My opening remarks are posted below.
The Canadian government’s Bill C-86, its Budget Implementation Act, features several notable provisions designed to curb intellectual property misuse. I posted yesterday on the rejection of “harmonized” statutory damages with the copyright collective system and new limits on the content of notices under the copyright notice-and-notice rules, with the government banning the inclusion of settlement demands or other requests for payment. Internet providers that receive notices that do not comply with the requirements will not be required to forward them to their subscribers. The bill also takes on patent misuse, including rolling out a framework for regulating patent demand letters in an effort to stop patent trolling.
Tackling IP Misuse: Canada Takes the Lead in Combating the Dark Side of Intellectual Property Protection
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister, unveiled the government’s long-awaited intellectual property strategy Thursday by responding to the need to increase IP awareness, develop new IP tools for businesses, and counter IP misuse that harms both consumers and businesses. The plan to introduce new legislative rules to discourage misuse of intellectual property is particularly noteworthy since the rules should help foster a more progressive, balanced, and innovative legal framework.
My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that with proposed reforms to all of Canada’s main IP statutes, the government is taking the lead in combating the dark side of intellectual property protection. Since abuse of intellectual property rights may inhibit companies from innovating or discourage Canadians from taking advantage of the digital market, crafting rules that address misuse can be as important as providing effective protection.
Don’t Make the TPP Mistake Again: Why Canada Needs to Maintain a Progressive Approach on IP in NAFTA
The intellectual property chapter has not been a focal point of the NAFTA negotiations this week in Montreal, but the successful conclusion of the TPP11 (or CPTPP) serves as a reminder that it is likely to emerge as a contentious issue in the months ahead. The U.S. position on the NAFTA IP chapter is clear: it wants to replicate the original TPP IP chapter. Yet Canada now stands opposed to that chapter having backed the suspension of many of its provisions including copyright term extension, digital locks, notice-and-takedown, patent protections, biologics protections, and pharmaceutical plan rules. In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week cited changes to the IP provisions as one example of how the government worked to make the TPP more progressive.