Torys' IP Lawyers Comment on the Canadian Patent System in Lexpert

June 03, 2015

In December 2014, amendments to Canada’s Patent Act and Patent Rules to fulfill the standards of the Patent Law Treaty received Royal Assent. This step to formalize Canada’s longstanding agreement to adopt the multi-nation Patent Law Treaty will update and streamline aspects of Canadian patent law. Together with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU announced in 2014, these changes are viewed by many as integral to further Canada’s competitiveness in this area of law. Lexpert sought comment from Torys' IP lawyers Andrew Bernstein and Teresa Reguly in an article examining the Canadian patent system. Below is an excerpt of the article.

“Our patent system is getting a bad rap internationally because it has become extremely liberal in moving from pro-patentee to anti-patentee,” says Andrew Bernstein of Torys LLP in Toronto.

Canada’s sullied reputation arises largely because Canada is the sole developed nation that requires applicants to demonstrate the “utility” of an invention at the time of application. To be sure, Canada’s Patent Act mandates that an invention must be “useful” to be patentable. Usefulness is not defined in the legislation but throughout the twentieth century courts consistently ruled that an invention only needed to have a “scintilla of utility” to be patentable.

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“We’re starting to use PPH more and more,” says Teresa Reguly of Torys LLP in Toronto. “It’s a great way to expedite patents issued in Canada where you’re dealing with the type of invention that doesn’t require a lot of changes to the original application.”

To read the full article, click here.

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