Category Archives: Canada

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE NOT AN “INVENTOR” UNDER EUROPEAN PATENT LAW: Is Canada heading down the same path?

IP designs

As reported in an earlier ANGLE post, we discussed how 2021 saw a number of patent office developments with regard to whether a non-human entity could be considered an inventor under various patent regimes.  Prior to 2021, several patent offices had considered this issue and found that A.I. could not be considered an inventor.  In 2021, however, an Australian Court found that a non-human “inventor” is not inconsistent with inventorship under Australian law and South Africa issued a patent designating an A.I. system as the inventor. 

It would appear at the end of 2021 that some patent offices were trending towards recognizing a non-human entity, like A.I. based technology, as an inventor. Could this trend continue?

Maybe not.  With a decision just before Christmas of 2021 from European authorities, any such trend may have been stopped in its tracks.

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The 2022 PMPRB Outlook for Pharmaceutical Patentees in Canada

pharma pills

In December 2021, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (the “PMPRB”) and the Minister of Health issued two updates regarding the Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines Regulations (the “Amendments”) and the new PMPRB Guidelines (the “New Guidelines”). These notably include a further deferral of the coming-into-force date of the Amendments. The updates, along with the Federal Court of Appeal’s (“FCA”)July 2021 decision in Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc v Canada (Attorney General), 2021 FCA 157 (“Alexion”), may have important implications for pharmaceutical patentees in Canada as they implement or revise their pricing strategy for 2022 and beyond.

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Federal Court of Canada provides narrow interpretation of the scope of Patent Agent Privilege

law books

One does not need to be a legal scholar to know that confidential communications between lawyers and their clients for the purpose of seeking and giving legal advice are generally privileged.  The so-called “solicitor-client” privilege is a cornerstone of law and allows clients and their lawyers to freely discuss legal issues without unintended disclosures.  Thus, apart from certain exceptions, Canadian courts will not compel production of privileged communications such as emails, letters and reports exchanged between clients and their lawyers for the purpose of legal advice.

For years, this special treatment did not attach to communications between clients and their patent agents.  This was problematic because patent agents often provide equally strategic and sensitive advice and opinions in the specific area of patents.  As a result, it was common practice to channel such communications through lawyers to shroud these under solicitor-client privilege.

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Quick overview of the state of patents for psychedelics

psychedelics

Psychedelics are a class of psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes. Also so known as “hallucinogens”, reference to psychedelics is commonly meant to include substances such as Psilocybin (a.k.a. “magic mushroom”), MDMA (a.k.a. “extasy”) and LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide).

Likely following the lead of the ongoing legalisation of cannabis in Canada, many U.S. states and other countries, the recent years have seen unprecedented investments and an increasing interest in research, production, and supply of psychedelics, particularly for potential medicinal uses.

The present article aims to provide a brief overview of the current situation from a patent perspective and to discuss about patenting strategies for these substances.

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Image Copyright in the Age of Social Media

Social media phone

In an age where online image sharing is more prevalent than ever thanks to the abundance of different social media platforms, the question of who has a right to use what photographs or creative visuals may appear increasingly complicated, but the truth is that similar copyright principles that apply to a physical photograph or artistic image also apply to pictures shared over social media. Continue reading for a discussion of social media platforms’ rights to the images posted by their users and for an explanation of Canadian copyright in images.

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