By Philip Stevens & Mark Schultz
Over the last decade, it’s become increasingly difficult for pharmaceutical companies to protect their intellectual property rights in Canada. Canadian courts have invalidated over 25 patents since 2005 because the inventor did not have proof that widely prescribed medicines performed exactly as predicted in the original patent application. Canada’s “promise utility doctrine” is out of step with the rest of the world and is placing significant burdens on innovators, with harsh consequences for the pharmaceutical industry.
This legal uncertainty means Canadian consumers will not have access to as many innovative products and the benefits and jobs they create. Canada’s judges and policymakers need to restore certainty to Canada’s distorted patent system to ensure innovators across Canada and around the world can continue to provide new medicines and other innovative products to Canadian consumers.