US Chamber lauds Canadian court’s ruling regarding drug patent rights

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) recently issued a statement supporting a Supreme Court of Canada decision upholding a pharmaceutical firm’s patent rights.

The decision defended AstraZeneca Canada’s intellectual property (IP) rights to its product for treating acid reflux conditions and dismissed Apotex’s claim on a generic version. The court concluded that the government’s patent doctrine, or “Promise Doctrine,” conflicted with the existing Patent Act in this case, the chamber release said.

Nations with robust IP frameworks “see increased biotechnology innovation, improved access to advanced technologies, and greater biomedical foreign direct investment,” GIPC said in the release. "We stand ready to work with Canada to ensure that policies on both sides of the border support IP-driven innovation.”

The ruling conveys a strong message of support for innovation in Canada, AstraZeneca Vice President of International Intellectual Property Policy Patrick Kilbride said in the release.

“We welcome today’s ruling that upholds AstraZeneca’s patent rights and rebuffs Canada’s so-called 'Promise Doctrine,'” Kilbride said. “The doctrine’s extremely restrictive approach has created harmful instability and uncertainty for medical innovators by making it difficult to obtain or defend a life science patent in Canada.”

To date, that policy has been used to reverse 26 patents.

“The Supreme Court has begun to restore much-needed clarity and confidence that biopharmaceutical innovators will be afforded equal protections under the law,” Kilbride said in the release. “This ruling sends an important signal that Canada is open for the business of innovation.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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