On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Canada heard oral arguments in AstraZeneca v Apotex and reserved its decision in a case that raises the propriety of the Canadian Federal Courts' "promise doctrine."
The Court heard submissions from the parties, as well as of four of seven interveners (Innovative Medicines Canada and BIOTECanada (jointly), the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI), and the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP). Written submissions had also been filed by the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA), the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC).
Representing the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI) were Fasken Martineau's Julie Desrosiers and Kang Lee, who made submissions saying how the promise doctrine and ensuing heightened utility requirement in Canada are a source of great concern for FICPI and other stakeholders. A low threshold for patent utility was then proposed to the Court – one that is consistent with the standard adopted by Canada's major trading partners.