Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

In a step towards ratifying the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the Canadian government introduced Bill C-100, entitled “An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States” in Parliament yesterday. 

Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed the CUSMA, dubbed at the time as “NAFTO 2.0”, on November 30, 2018. If ratified, CUSMA would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and would require a number of changes to Canada’s IP laws, including the following four changes of particular significance:

1. Data protection term for biologics increased from eight years to ten years

2. Introduction of a patent term adjustment procedure to compensate for Patent Office delay in issuing a patent

3. Copyright term increased from life of the author plus 50 years to life of the author plus 70 years

4. Suspected counterfeit goods that are in transit (i.e. traveling through, but not destined for, Canada) will become susceptible to detention at the border

There are further impacts on Canadian IP law stemming from CUSMA, which we outlined in our previous article, USMCA v NAFTA: What's changed and what it means for IP in Canada.

Bill C-100 has received its first reading in the House of Commons. After a second reading and debate in the House, the Bill will be sent to a committee for review, and a report back to the House. After passing a third reading in the House of Commons, the Bill will undergo a similar process in the Senate. Once the House and Senate have passed the Bill in the same form, it can receive Royal Assent by the Governor General, and subsequently become law. The Act would largely come into force on the day on which CUSMA enters into force.

We will follow the progress of Bill C-100 in Parliament, and provide updates in the event of significant progress in the ratification of CUSMA.

The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property and technology law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly.