A number of patent decisions were taken by the Canadian courts in 2018, including one concerning a relatively rare interlocutory injunction and several others decided on the merits. Damages totalling C$7,915,000 were awarded in one case based on lost profits and reasonable royalties, as well as compound interest, but the justice refused to award punitive damages. Several of the decisions remain under appeal.
Canada saw a range of disparate patent law developments in 2018, including the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Separate from this, the second federal budget bill for 2018 introduced a series of amendments to the Patent Act, which concern diverse matters such as licensing commitments on standard-essential patents and the role of the prosecution history in claim construction.
There have been a number of key developments in Canadian life sciences IP and regulatory law over the past 12 months, including a consultation on the different approaches to the naming of biological drugs. Among other developments, four biosimilars were approved, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health announced revisions to its biosimilar and administrative review process and significant proposed amendments to the Patent Rules were released.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently revised its practice notice regarding name and surname objections. Previously, examiners had to locate a minimum of 25 listings in Canadian phone directories before a name and surname objection could be raised. The revised practice notice indicates that "to better reflect the purpose of paragraph 12(1)(a)", effective immediately, examiners are no longer required to find a minimum number of listings before an objection under this section can be raised.
The Federal Court of Appeal recently allowed in part Apotex's appeal of a decision awarding Eli Lilly over C$100 million for Apotex's infringement of eight process patents relating to the antibiotic cefaclor. The court remitted the decision to the Federal Court for reconsideration solely on the issue of interest.