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SCC Grants Intervenor Status to Six Parties in Promise Doctrine Appeal


The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted six parties intervenor status in AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc. (Docket No. 36654). This case will require the SCC to squarely consider Canada’s notorious “promise doctrine”, under which many patents have been held to be invalid for failing to deliver a promised utility. This doctrine has been highly criticized, and Eli Lilly has filed a complaint against the Canadian government under NAFTA based on the invalidation of two of its patents under this doctrine. There the pharmaceutical industry and the patent agent profession have considerable interest in a decision from the SCC on this issue.

Innovative Medicines Canada and BIOTECanada (jointly), the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Fédération internationale des conseils en propriété intellectuelle, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada have all been granted intervenor status. These organizations have until 18 October 2016 to file their facta.

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