Ownership & Inventorship

From the moment that an invention crystallizes in the mind of an inventor, an inchoate ownership right is created of which the inventor is the first owner. Anyone wishing to acquire that right must claim title through the inventor. The inventor is the person who conceives of a new and useful art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, and reduces it to a definite and practical shape.

March 26, 2021
Photograph of an oil and gas pump.

Federal Court Applies Its Own Claim Construction to Infringement Case

2021 FC 85: The Federal Court upheld the validity of all claims, but found that PetroChina was not infringing Maoz Betser-Zilevitch's patent for an SAGD.
August 20, 2020
Close-up photograph of a wooden judge's gavel.

Federal Court Can Now Interpret Contracts in Patent Ownership Disputes

Salt v Baker - In a unanimous decision, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed the Federal Court’s jurisdiction to hear contractual disputes involving patents.
June 11, 2019
avx

CAFC Refuses to Hear Appeal from Patent Decision

AVX Corporation v Presidio Components (Fed. Cir., 2018-1106) A case recently dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) confirms that […]
September 5, 2017

Canada’s Federal Court Confirms it has Exclusive Jurisdiction to Amend an Issued Patent

2016 FC 229 - The FC heard and granted an uncontested application by Novartis, pursuant to sections 31(3) and 52 of the Patent Act, to vary all entries in the records of the Patent Office with regards to the inventorship of a Canadian Patent.
April 11, 2017

FC Determines Improper Priority Claims Are Not Untrue Material Allegations

2016 FC 320 - The FC found that many of the claims in Uponor’s patent were invalid, rejected the untrue material allegation argument and found that several of the remaining claims were infringed by Heatlink and Pexcor.
March 10, 2017

Federal Court implies that it only has jurisdiction to expunge or vary titles to patents, not record documents to them

2016 FC 1092 - The FC heard and granted an order to vary the records of the Patent Office for Canadian Patent No. 2,630,594, but refused to order the recording of documents to it.
March 7, 2017

FC Removes Named Inventor from Patent Without Evidence That Remaining Named Individuals are the Only Inventors

2016 FC 499 - The FC allowed the removal of a named co-inventor from Canadian Patent No. 2,860,309, without requiring strict evidence that the remaining named individuals were the only inventors.
August 29, 2016

FC Rejects Jurisdiction over Contract Law in Assignment Dispute, Comments that s. 51 of the Patent Act Supersedes Conflict of Laws Principles

2016 FC 830 - The FC dismissed a case of contractual dispute over the ownership of a patent, and commented that, regardless of whether conflict of laws principles apply, no assignment or transfer of a patent can take place except in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the patent was granted (s. 51 of the Patent Act).
November 16, 2015

Federal Court Skirts Provincial Property Law and Transfers Patent Ownership

Imperial Oil Resources Ltd v Exxonmobil Upstream, 2015 FC 1218 - The Federal Court has finally stated outright that it has the jurisdiction to vary patent ownership without encroaching upon the realm of provincial contract law.
June 30, 2015

ABQB Upholds Patent Assignment from Employee Despite Partially Unpaid Salary

Groves v Canasonics Inc, 2015 ABQB 314 - After a falling out between a director and Canasonics Inc., the former director sought to ensure that any intellectual property in critical unpatented tools remained his own, and sought to reverse the transfer of a number of patents that he had already assigned to the company.