Patenting Medical Diagnostic Methods in Canada

CIPO has released new Guidelines for analyzing the patentability of Medical Diagnostic Method Claims.

As with general Canadian practice, Medical Diagnostic Method Claims must be construed in accordance with the practice of purposive claim construction. Namely, the claims must solve the problem described by the inventors according to the  essential elements identified in the Description.

Specifically regarding Medical Diagnostic Methods, the Guidelines identify two broad problem categories: (1) Data Acquisition Problems and (2) Data Analysis Problems. The Guidelines conclude that:

  • Data Acquisition Problems constitute patentable subject matter because the essential elements described include technical matter beyond the Common General Knowledge of the skilled artisan; however,
  • Data Analysis Problems do not constitute patentable subject matter because the essential elements are often disembodied (e.g., relate to mental analysis and/or intellectual significance of the data), and are therefore non-compliant with Section 2 of the Patent Act.

Should you have any questions regarding medical diagnostic method claims, please feel free to contact one of our professionals.

For further information, please see the Practice Notice at:

Prepared by Leah Labib

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