Update on Patenting Methods of Medical Treatment in Canada

By Leah Labib and Natalie Raffoul


Some good news regarding methods of medical treatment and dosage-related Claims in Canada.


While patent claims directed to methods of medical treatment remain unpatentable in Canada, claims to medical uses are generally permitted. With regard to the permissible types of use claims, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) recently released revised Examiner guidelines that broaden the scope of patentable subject matter for medical use claims. The Practice Notice – PN 2015-01 – suggests that claimed dosages may be patentable. Specifically, claims directed towards “a fixed dosage, a fixed dosage regimen, a patient sub-population or to a particular administration site” are now considered patentable as they do not “[limit] a physician’s professional skill or judgement”.


The new guidelines also suggest that claims “instructing” a medical professional on “‘what’ to use” to treat a patient may be patentable. However, claims “instructing medical professionals on “how” to treat a patient are considered methods of medical treatment and are therefore not considered patentable.


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


For further information, please see the Practice Notice at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr03916.html

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