Thursday, December 11, 2014
Well, it's been ten months since Bill C-31, Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No.1, was tabled. As you may recall, the Bill contains major amendments to the current trademark system, one of the most important of which is to eliminate use as a registration requirement. It also allows for implementation of the Madrid Protocol and adoption of the Nice Classification of goods and services. Of significance also, it reduces the renewal period to 10 years which seems to be of most interest to my clients.
So, what progress has been made? Not much really. On June 19th, Bill C-31 received Royal Assent and is now the law in Canada. The next day the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) released this document: Amendments to the Trade-marks Act: Questions and Answers
However, the new Law needs Regulations in order to actually function and CIPO produced a discussion document in October outlining the proposed regulations for comments. If you are so inclined, you can read that here, http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr03851.html
The consultation period ended on November 30 and no doubt numerous responses were filed. Further consultations on fees and set up procedures and costs for Madrid Protocol applications are expected.
CIPO has also held a couple of webinars in order to explain their perspective, the latest of which made it quite clear that full implementation of the amendments will not happen before early 2016. For now, the current registration regime will remain in force and it is business as usual at CIPO.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Canadians pay an average of 50% more per capita on prescription drugs
Despite what I do for a living, I won't claim to know anything about pharmaceuticals, their patents and the generic drug industry but I thought Canada's patent law supported generic drugs to make drugs cheaper for us. Apparently not, Canadians pay an average of 50% more per capita on prescription drugs than residents of other developed countries.
I'm pretty healthy, knock on wood, and basically never have to take prescription drugs. So this whole pharmacare “debate” going on right now in Canada comes as a bit of a shock to me. I mean, really, it seems like a no brainer: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal health-care system that doesn't cover the cost of prescription drugs
Apparently, Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal health-care system that doesn't cover the cost of prescription drugs. As I understand it, publicly funded access to prescription drugs results in bulk buying power and this results in lower costs.
So what's the problem? Economist Bob Evans recently described the main obstacle for the implementation of universal pharmacare in Canada: “Anyone’s spending is somebody else’s income. Universal pharmacare could save billions to Canadians, so there are powerful corporate interests that will do everything they can to make sure it does not happen.”