The Government of Canada has announced that the text of CETA — the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe — was finalized after many months of silence on the historic trade deal.

Agreement in principle on CETA was reached on October 18, 2013, with an expectation that a final agreement would be reached shortly thereafter. Despite this optimism, the announcement that the text has been finalized was only made yesterday.

The final text of CETA has not yet been released, and may not be available for several months. Further, ratification and implementation may take another two years.    

Our previous IP Updates of October 30, 2013, November 14, 2013 and December 16, 2013 reported on expected changes to intellectual property protection, including significant changes to IP protection for geographical indications, pharmaceuticals and biologics. Notably, we expect:

  • an expansion of protection for geographical indications to cover a broad range of foods and beer;
  • an end to “dual litigation” in pharmaceutical patent cases resulting from the interplay between litigation under the Patent Act and the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations; and
  • patent term restoration for pharmaceutical products protected by eligible patents for up to 2-years.

The Government has said that there will be no change to the data protection term for pharmaceuticals or biologics.