Compulsory licences granted by a government before the date on which the Agreement «became known» do not need to respect the provisions of Article 31. The same applies to compulsory licences in a specific field of technology and which would be regarded as discriminatory under Article 27.1 (see Article 70.6). The use of an ill-defined point in time (the moment at which the Agreement «became known») is confusing. This provision has apparently been adopted in order to accelerate the abolition of «automatic» licences for drugs in Canadian legislation, which allowed the growth of a large generic drugs Industry in Canada.
According to Article 70.7, if a patent application is awaiting approval at the time the Agreement enters into force in a Member country, it will be possible to amend the application to claim «any enhanced protection provided under the provisions of this Agreement» (Article 70.7). Such an amendment may not, however, include «new matter». The major issue here is whether an application for a process patent may be changed into an application for a product patent. Since the distinction between a manufacturing process and a product is clearly defined, the change would imply the inclusion of new matter not included in the original claim. The answer should therefore be in the negative. On the other hand, the applicant may, for example, apply for protection for twenty years (Article 33) if the term of the patent previously applied for is less.