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IP monitor: Canada legislates the use of inventions during the pandemic

Canada Publication April 3, 2020 - 2 PM ET

What you need to know

Under Bill C-13, emergency measures will now be available to Canadians and Canadian businesses. 

Bill C-13 received royal assent on March 25 and enacts changes to more than 15 laws, including the Patent Act

Section 19.4 states the commissioner will have to grant a licence to the Government of Canada or any person specified by the latter for any patented invention, when it is deemed necessary to respond to a public health emergency in the national interest.

Under the current circumstances, the Government of Canada will be able to benefit from innovations that can help combat the spread of COVID-19 and get these new technologies, such as new respiratory masks, quickly to healthcare workers. This authorization to use inventions, when granted, will not constitute an infringement of a patent or registered industrial design. However, the government must pay adequate compensation in the circumstances to the owners of the intellectual property.  

One might wonder why in this time of crisis, the government has implemented such an amendment. It may be a safe to assume that some inventions have already been targeted for use. We will keep you posted.

Our technology infrastructure enables our professionals and staff to work remotely for an extended period. As such, we will continue to meet original CIPO deadlines as instructed by clients. The extension, however, provides clients a safety net to help navigate this unprecedented situation.

For more information on the legal implications of COVID-19, please consult our COVID-19 Hub. As a full-service global firm with offices across Canada, Norton Rose Fulbright is closely monitoring this evolving situation over a number of practice areas, including employment and labour, risk advisory, banking and finance, corporate, M&A and securities, and dispute resolution and litigation, and across a variety of industries, including energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, financial institutions, life sciences and healthcare, technology and innovation, and transport.


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