Apr 21, 2020
Nathaniel Lipkus, a partner in Osler’s IP Group, recently spoke to The Morning Show’s Mike Stafford and Supriya Dwivedi about IP considerations related to PPE and other COVID-19 medical equipment in a podcast for 640 Toronto. In the segment, they discussed a range of topics including the federal government’s recent emergency legislation that modifies the Patent Act, and what that means for PPE. Nathaniel explains that the emergency legislation is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a stop-gap measure that allows the government to commission what it needs and choose a third-party manufacturer to make and sell patented COVID-19 health products for the public. Under the rules, the government needs to notify the holders of any related patents and compensate them; if the patent holders are dissatisfied, they can apply to court to seek relief.
Nathaniel also discussed the history and context of other changes in IP law, looking back on previous wars and crises. He explained that Canada has different flexibilities that can help address public health emergencies, but we don’t have a system that says we can suspend patents altogether. He also pointed out that one company has voluntarily given up exclusivity rights to a potential COVID-19 treatment and discussed the benefits of good CSR practices for pharmaceutical companies.
For more of Nathaniel’s insight, listen to the full podcast, “Canadian manufacturers beware: be mindful of Intellectual Property risks when producing PPE, medical equipment” on The Morning Show’s website.