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Emergency Legislation to Allow Compulsory Licensing to Deal with COVID-19

On 25 March 2020,  Bill C-13 An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19  received Royal Assent. This emergency legislation amends the Patent Act to authorize the government to make, construct, use and sell patented inventions to respond to a public health emergency.

19.‍4 (1) The Commissioner shall, on the application of the Minister of Health, authorize the Government of Canada and any person specified in the application to make, construct, use and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to the public health emergency described in the application.

The provision is time-limited, as section 19.4(9) expressly states that the Commissioner shall not make an authorization pursuant to this provision after 30 September 2020.


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