On Monday October 5, 2015, the Canadian Federal government announced that Canada had concluded negotiations and become one of the founding members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States of America, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Peru.

The TPP, which must be ratified by all 12 member countries to come into effect, has the potential for wide-spread consequences across Canadian industry. While text of the TPP has yet to be published, the government released a technical summary on intellectual property which describes some of the proposed consequences for intellectual property laws in Canada and the TPP member countries, including:

Copyright

  • Changes to copyright enforcement to reflect “or” build upon Canada’s obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties;
  • Reflects Canada’s “Notice-and-Notice” ISP infringement notification regime;

Patents

  • In line with Canada’s agreement with the European Union, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (see here for more detailed discussion of CETA), preserves Canada’s ability to meet its obligations regarding patent term restoration for regulatory approval delays, while maintaining its two-year export exception and cap on additional protection;
  • Reflects Canada’s patent linkage (Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations), clinical trial data protection, and early working exemption regimes;

Trademarks

  • Changes to rules regarding opposition to and cancellation of future geographical indications;

Industrial Design

  • Changes, if any, in line with Canada’s existing regime, and consistent with the Hague Agreement; and

Enforcement

  • Requiring TPP member countries to implement border enforcement measures to prevent and detain counterfeit or pirated goods (similar to those under the Combating Counterfeit Products Actsee here for more detailed discussion of the CCPA).

It will be interesting to see the specific TPP trade agreement language in the coming days to determine whether such rumoured issues as copyright term extension, clinical trial data protection extension, and a counterfeit goods-in-transit prohibition, are also addressed.