Canada Continues to be on US IP Watch List for 2015

Excerpt from the report (https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2015-Special-301-Report-FINAL.pdf )on Canada

Canada
Canada remains on the Watch List in 2015, as a number of IPR and related issues remain. Regarding Canada’s implementation of its 2012 Copyright Modernization Act, provisions aimed at addressing copyright piracy over the Internet came into force in January 2015, and Canada completed its ratification of the WIPO Internet Treaties in August 2014. The United States continues to urge Canada to fully implement its WIPO Internet Treaties commitments and to continue to address the challenges of copyright piracy in the digital age. Regarding border enforcement issues, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act became law in December 2014. The new law provides authority to Canadian customs officials to detain pirated and counterfeit goods being imported and exported at the border. The United States is disappointed that the new law does not apply to pirated and counterfeit goods in customs transit control or customs transshipment control in Canada. The United States urges Canada to provide its customs officials with full ex officio authority to improve its ability to address the serious problem of pirated and counterfeit goods entering our highly integrated supply chains. With respect to pharmaceuticals, the United States continues to have serious concerns about the availability of rights of appeal in Canada’s administrative process for reviewing regulatory approval of pharmaceutical products. The United States also continues to have serious concerns about the lack of clarity and the impact of the heightened utility requirements for patents that Canadian courts have applied recently. In these cases, courts have invalidated several valuable patents held by U.S. pharmaceutical companies on utility grounds, by interpreting the “promise” of the patent and finding that insufficient information was provided in the application to substantiate that promise. These recent decisions, which have affected products that have been in the market and benefiting patients for years, have led to uncertainty for patent holders and applicants, including with respect to how to effectively meet this standard. This unpredictability also undermines incentives for investments in the pharmaceutical sector. The United States closely monitors developments on these issues and looks forward to continuing to work with Canada to address these and other IPR issues, including through the TPP negotiations.

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