Patenting Medical Treatment in Canada

Although a little hard to find on the internet (Field Notes: search for practice notices only for trademark practice notices; search for patent notices for patent related practice notices), the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s periodic official guidance on accepted case law interpretation are mighty useful, if a little confusing.

Maybe I’m just not suited to patent law; I find some of the discussions about why one thing is patentable and another not patentable to be dizzying, making me want to throw down my pencil and declare defeat.  However, as someone who writes patent and trademark exams for a living (it seems), giving up is not really in my vocabulary.

And, I can feel the principals of essentiality and purposive construction in my gut.  They make sense.

So many words, ‘though.

For example, take this quote from PN 2015-01:

In order to determine whether the subject-matter of a claim is statutory, examiners must take into account the guidance outlined in PN 2013-02, which provides that an assessment for section 2 compliance should be based on the essential elements of the claim as determined by a purposive construction as outlined in Part A of this document.


Medical use claims: are they patentable in Canada?  Well, it depends.  Not patentable:

Essential elements that point to a limitation of a physician’s professional skill or judgment include those that provide details of a dosing schedule encompassing a range and those that represent a range of potential dosages that a patient may receive (as distinct from a range of dosage forms).


…essential elements that narrow treatment to a fixed dosage, a fixed dosage regimen, a patient sub-population or to a particular administration site…

And that does give us something to go on.   Thank you, CIPO!