Canada notifies WTO on Bill C-13 to facilitate compulsory licensing in the COVID-19 response

Under the notification of laws and regulations obligations of Article 63.2 of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) TRIPS Agreement, on 23 April 2020, Canada sent a notification (IP/N/1/CAN/30) to the WTO in relation to “Bill C-13 An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19)”. The legal text can be found here.

The Canadian submission to WTO contained the following information.

    Brief description of the notified legal text

    On March 25, 2020, Bill C-13 (An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19) received Royal Assent. Bill C-13 amends Canada’s Patent Act to empower the Commissioner of Patents, on the application of the Minister of Health, to authorize the Government of Canada or another specified person to supply a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to a public health emergency that is a matter of national concern.

    These amendments include safeguards to protect the interests of patent holders; for example, ensuring that a patent holder receives adequate remuneration for the use of the patent, placing limitations on the duration of the authorization, providing the patent owner with notice of the authorization, and ensuring that the patent owner has recourse to the courts if any person authorized acts outside the scope of the authorization.”