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2020: A year of clarity for Canadian life sciences and software patents

Author(s): J. Bradley White, Nathaniel Lipkus, Lillian Wallace

Dec 8, 2020

Two industries in which patents play an undeniable strategic role are life sciences and software. Canada has historically been a strategic jurisdiction for litigating life sciences patents, as launching a generic or biosimilar medicine requires that patents be addressed before product approval. Conversely, companies have often forgone protection and enforcement of software patents in Canada, due in part to barriers to approval of these patents either by our patent office or ultimately by the courts.

In 2020, Osler’s patent litigation team helped to advance the law pertaining to life sciences and software patents in critical ways, providing guidance regarding patentability of contentious subject-matter as well as litigation strategy. This progress is owed largely to the efforts of Canada’s Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, which worked through the pandemic to hear important patent cases using Zoom and the Federal Court’s e-Trial platform...