The past two months have been marked by
unprecedented turmoil for the British royal family, after the announcement by
the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, that they would
step down as senior members of the royal family and entertain their own
financial independence. Under a new working arrangement, they will be free to
earn professional income and will have more liberty to pursue their charitable
endeavours. Further details on the specific arrangements can be found here.
In anticipation of their new
projects, a trademark application and a domain name registration for SUSSEX
ROYAL had been sought in the UK. Following a recent intervention by Her Majesty
the Queen herself, however, the use of the term “royal” has now been
disallowed. Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would no longer be serving as
“royal” members and representatives, as they gave up their royal duties, then
there was no justification for them to further use this term. The UK trademark
application for SUSSEX ROYAL was thereby withdrawn.
Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (the “Board”) recently published draft
Guidelines to replace the current Compendium of Policies, Guidelines and
Procedures, leading up to the coming into force of the amended Patented
Medicines Regulations on July 1, 2020. The draft Guidelines are needed to
facilitate the implementation of the upcoming changes to the Regulations,
including: (i) the additional price regulatory factors for consideration by the
Board when assessing whether the price of a patented medicine is excessive;
(ii) updates to the schedule of comparator countries to be used by the Board
for international price comparisons; and (iii) changes to reporting
requirements for patentees. Interested parties can make written submissions to
the Board on the draft guidelines during the consultation period, which ends on
February 14, 2020.
Intellectual Property (“IP”) typically
provides a significant commercial advantage in the marketplace. With the legalization of cannabis in Canada
in 2018 and increasing competition among cannabis producers, the cannabis
industry has been exploring ways to protect its cash crop. Given that proprietary varieties of cannabis
plants are highly valued in the cannabis industry, a lesser known and very
specific type of IP right called Plant Breeders’ Rights (“PBR”) may see a rise
in prominence. Cannabis producers would
be well advised to consider how PBR can be used to protect their commercially
valuable proprietary varieties and supplement their existing IP arsenal.
PBR Eligibility and Scope of Protection
The federal Plant Breeders’ Rights Act enables the protection of a plant
variety where that variety is:
new, in that its propagating or
harvested material has not been sold by or with the concurrence of the breeder
inside or outside Canada within a prescribed time period (either one, four, or
six years) before the filing date of the application;
by reason of its identifiable
characteristics, it is clearly distinguishable from all varieties whose
existence is a matter of common knowledge at the filing date of the
stable in its essential
characteristics, in that after repeated propagation it remains true to its
having regard to the particular
features of its sexual reproduction or vegetative propagation, it is
sufficiently homogeneous (i.e. in the event of sexual reproduction or
vegetative propagation in substantial quantities, any variations in
characteristics are predictable, capable of being described, and commercially
On November 13, 2019, the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) and Fasken held a webinar on advanced patent prosecution strategies for patenting artificial intelligence (AI) related inventions.
Isi Caulder from Bereskin & Parr and I spoke on a number of topics including:
• AI Industry Trends to Watch • Claiming Strategies • Satisfying Subject Matter and Enablement Requirements • AI Patenting Considerations in Canada, the U.S. and Europe • Enforcement Considerations and Trends
Hosted in the Toronto office of Fasken, the seminar was webcast to Fasken’s Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver offices. The aim of the seminar was to provide attendees with understanding and insight into intellectual property (IP) and patent prosecution strategies for AI-based systems while considering the evolving subject matter/enablement landscape and current enforcement trends. We also considered more esoteric topics such as whether AI-based systems could be considered inventors under the patent system.
If you are interested in AI and IP law, please reach out for more information as any of the participants would be more than happy to discuss this ever changing area with you.
The long-awaited date has arrived. The amendments to Canada’s Patent Act and Rules, in order to implement Canada’s obligations under the Patent
Law Treaty (PLT), come into effect today.
The PLT is intended to harmonize and streamline formal procedures for
national and regional patent applications and patents in order to make them
more user friendly. Briefly, among other
changes, the amendments will introduce: (i) shorter deadlines for certain actions;
(ii) concepts of “third party rights”, “due care” and omissions being
“unintentional”; (iii) notices for missed deadlines; (iv) simplified
requirements in order to obtain a filing date; and (v) restoration of
priority. For a detailed overview of some
of the most significant changes, please refer to our bulletin on The New Patent Rules.