March 21, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President of International Intellectual Property Patrick Kilbride today responded to a NAFTA tribunal ruling on a patent dispute between pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and the Canadian government:

"This was a narrow decision that declined to rule on the legal merits of Canada’s “promise” doctrine; it was not an endorsement of the doctrine’s policy. There can be no dispute that the doctrine dramatically undermines legal certainty for medical innovators in Canada: Since 2005, there has been a sharp increase in medical patent invalidation, with 25 patents revoked that were previously approved by Health Canada and that were being used to treat millions of patients around the world. These actions are outside international norms and have undermined the stability that drugmakers rely on to continue providing the kinds of cures the world needs. For these reasons, we urge the Canadian government to address the stifling challenges the “promise” doctrine presents for medical innovators in Canada.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.