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home > ebr > spring 2002 > the patenting of biotechnology in canada
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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Patenting of Biotechnology in Canada

Unlike in the US or Europe, there are no clear guidelines in Canada governing patenting requirements in the field of biotechnology, and case law is limited. In the absence of domestic policy or law, the Canadian Patent Office is greatly influenced by the practices of the US and European patent offices. This approach has been endorsed by the Canadian courts, who have frequently turned to other jurisdictions for guidance when domestic law is lacking. In recent decisions, such as the Federal Court Trial Division in Monsanto Canada Inc. versus Schmeiser (2001), 12 C.P.R. (4th) 204 (F.C.T.D.); the Federal Court of Appeal in The President and Fellows of Harvard College versus Canada (Commissioner of Patents) (2000), 7 C.P.R. (4th) 1 [hereinafter Harvard College, Supra]; and the Supreme Court of Canada in Free World Trust versus Electro Sante Inc. (2000), 9 C.P.R. (4th) 168, the Courts espoused the value of referring to US case law and practice to provide guidance in the development of Canadian patent law.


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By Anita Nador, Partner in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Practice Group at Bereskin & Parr

Anita Nador is a Partner with Bereskin & Parr in their Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Practice Group. She received a BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1986 and undertook research at Harvard Medical School and at a major Canadian pharmaceutical company before obtaining a Law degree from the University of Toronto in 1993.
Anita was called to the bar of Ontario in 1995 and is a registered Canadian patent and trademark agent. She is also registered to practice before the US Patent Office. Anita's practice is specialised in the area of intellectual property - particularly in biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent - plant breeders' rights, and trademark and licensing matters.

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