CETA Update: One Step Closer

This week, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström announced the successful legal review of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union (EU). The completion of this review means that that CETA is one step closer to ratification and implementation, a move that would help secure the future of Canada’s intellectual property environment.

According to a statement from Freeland and Malmström, we can expect to see the impact of CETA as soon as next year: 

“Once finalized, we will focus on the swift ratification of CETA so that individuals and businesses, both large and small, are able to benefit from the opportunities offered by this gold-standard agreement. We are confident that CETA will be signed in 2016 and will enter into force in 2017.”

What does CETA mean for Canadian IP protections and more importantly, how will patients benefit from this agreement?

As noted in a recently-released report from the Global IP Center, Canada’s IP environment will improve our standing globally following approval of CETA, if implemented in the spirit it was intended. The agreement contains substantial provisions on IP rights, like right of appeal and extending patent protections in cases where delays occur beyond already established timelines in drug approval processes. This incentivizes companies to keep producing new, innovative medicines to help meet unmet medical needs of patients.

CETA must now be ratified by the Canadian Government, European Parliament and member states, and is expected to be signed in 2016, coming into force in 2017. CETA is on track to be implemented in the spirit of the way in which it was negotiated, with input and collaboration from stakeholders on all sides.