On March 31, 2016, the Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) published the long-awaited update to its Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines (“IPEGs”). According to the Bureau, the aim of the updated IPEGs is threefold. They:

  • Clarify the Bureau’s position on patent litigation settlements and product switching—notably that settlements of proceedings under the Patented Medicines Notice of Compliance Regulations will be analysed under the Competition Act’s criminal conspiracy provisions only where the settlement is a sham or where it extends beyond the exclusionary period of the patent;
  • Address the conduct of patent assertion entities and conduct involving standard essential patent holders; and
  • Explain the Bureau’s approach to conducting investigations of alleged anti-competitive conduct that relates to intellectual property.

Consistent with the Commissioner of Competition’s commitment to openness and transparency, the updated IPEGs were published following an extensive public consultation process. The Bureau received numerous submissions from academia, businesses, and government.

The Bureau noted that it is committed to reviewing the IPEGs annually and will revise them as needed in light of experience, changing circumstances and decisions of the Competition Tribunal and the courts