Patents

Case summaries and articles about  patents.

September 18, 2015

The ITC Asserts Jurisdiction over Digital Patent Infringement

ClearCorrect Operating LLC, et al v International Trade Commission (No 2014-1527) - An appeal to the Federal Circuit will determine whether the ITC has jurisdiction over digital patent infringement: the ability to block the importation of patent-infringing “articles” if those articles take the form of digital information.
September 16, 2015

FC Finds Novartis Patent Promises a Mechanism of Action, not a Treatment

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc v Teva Canada Limited, 2015 FC 770 - Novartis was able to uphold its patent against allegations of invalidity from Teva, but not without the Federal Court making a number of razor thin distinctions between what the patent promised and what it did not.
September 15, 2015

FCA Rejects “Exact Matching” Requirement in PM(NOC) Regulations

Eli Lilly Canada Inc v Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FCA 166 - The FCA rejected the notion adopted by the Federal Court that a higher level of specificity is required to adhere to the Regulations than is required for an element to be claimed as a matter of claim construction, bringing the law in line with Industry Canada proposed amendments.
September 9, 2015

The Word “will” can Indicate a Patent Promise, not an Expectation

AstraZeneca Canada Inc v Apotex Inc, 2015 FCA 158 - The FCA acknowledged that the word “will” often refers to an expectation or goal rather than a promise, but still held that the FC did not err in finding that a promise was made when reading the patent as a whole from the eyes of a skilled reader.
September 8, 2015

Federal Court Revisits Schmeiser Differential Method for Calculating Profits

ADIR v Apotex Inc, 2015 FC 721 - In an accounting of profits case, the FC stated that if a non-infringing alternative is to be considered, it “cannot be what one would have done had one complied with the law”.
September 2, 2015

In Situ Reaction Cannot Avoid AstraZeneca’s Product Claim

AstraZeneca Canada Inc v Apotex Inc, 2015 FC 322 - Claim 1 was worded general enough to capture Apotex’s subcoating layer even though Apotex’s subcoating layer was generated by an in situ chemical reaction, a process that the patentee had not contemplated.
August 20, 2015

USPTO Proposes AIA Rule Changes

USPTO Proposes AIA Rule Changes - Proposes to affirm the "broadest reasonable interpretation standard" in IPR proceedings and other changes.
August 17, 2015

IPR Proceedings in the US retain the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard for Claim Construction & Strict Claim Amendment Requirements

Microsoft Corporation v Proxyconn, Inc, - The “broadest reasonable interpretation standard” (“BRI”) standard is the standard for claim construction in Inter Partes Review IPR proceedings and newly substituted claims must be demonstrated to be patentable over the prior art of record.
August 10, 2015

Patent Royalties Restricted to Term of the Patent by SCOTUS

Kimble et al v Marvel Entertainment, LLC, 576 U.S. ____ (2015) - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 50 year old rule from Brulotte v Thys Co, 379 US 29, that prohibits royalties from being charged on formerly patented products after the patent has expired.
June 30, 2015

Writing Provisional Software Patent Applications

In the age of the “Lean Startup” $100,000 can be enough to get a startup well off the ground. However, with such tight budgets and limited funding there is often not much room left to pay a professional patent agent several thousand dollars to draft your patent application. This article provides some pointers on how to draft your own provisional software patent application.
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.
June 27, 2015

Patent on Airport Security Trays Proven to have a Surprising Impact on Airport Efficiency

CD 1377 - Security Point Media's patent on “Advertising Trays for Security Screening” was found to be nonobvious considering a number of factors, such as the impact of the invention on the industry.
May 21, 2015

FCA Upholds Gilead Product Specificity Requirement

ViiV Healthcare ULC v Teva Canada Limited, 2015 FCA 93 - The FCA confirmed that paragraph 4(2)(a) of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance Regulations) requires that a patent listed on the register requires an “exacting threshold of specificity” between what is claimed in the patent and what has been approved in the Notice of Compliance. However, proposed amendments to the PM(NOC) Regulations would reverse this holding.
May 20, 2015

PM(NOC) Amendments to Reverse Gilead and Viiv Decisions Regarding Product Specificity Requirement for Combination Drugs

The proposed amendments would dispose of the product specificity requirement that was interpreted by the Federal Court of Appeal in paragraphs 4(2)(a) and 4(2)(b) of the PM(NOC) Regulations.
May 18, 2015

Hydrogen Economy Patent Rejected for Ambiguity

Commissioner’s Decision #1376 - The Application, which sought to patent what is essentially one manifestation of the hydrogen economy, was rejected for ambiguity since the Application’s use of the term “water… inputs” as claimed was not supported by the description. Water is only ever described as taking part in intermediary steps in the claimed method, not as an energy input, as in hydroelectric power.
May 12, 2015

The Oft Missed Synergy: Patents and SRED

Flat-out ignoring patents and SRED can result in leaving a lot of value on the table. Whatever one may think of patents, it is a fact that they can provide enormous value to a technology company if they are done correctly. By the same token, a successful SRED claim can lead to a significant short term financial boost for cash conscious companies.
April 30, 2015

Google Offers to Purchase your Patents

From May 8, 2015 through May 22, 2015, Google will be accepting applications from patent-holders wishing to sell any patent to Google through its experimental Patent Purchase Program. Google hopes that its program will improve the marketplace for patents for everyone, but especially for smaller participants, who too often end up selling their patents to patent trolls.
April 22, 2015

Determining the Common General Knowledge from the Background of a Patent Upheld as a Reasonable Factual Finding

Newco Tank Corp v Canada (Attorney General) 2015 FCA 47 - The Board made a reasonable factual finding when it found that the background knowledge of the person skilled in the art was described in the background information of a patent. This determination was instrumental in the Board’s determination that the patent was obvious.
March 24, 2015

Mylan-Tadalafil does not Infringe Eli Lilly’s Formulation Patent in NOC Proceeding

Eli Lilly Inc v Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC, 2015 FC 178 - Mylan did not infringe the ‘948 Patent because the Mylan’s tadalafil compound did not have the claimed particle size distribution and the formulation did not contain the claimed concentration of hydrophilic binder. The Court rejected two purposive arguments by Eli Lilly in favour of a more literal reading of the patent.
March 6, 2015

Three Simple Steps Towards Building a Patent Strategy

Canadians demonstrate excellence at many things. There are the obvious clichés like maple syrup, hockey, politeness and modesty. However, our excellence at politeness hides some of our other impressive strengths, like innovation and technology. In turn, our modesty seems to keep Canadians from protecting their intellectual property (IP) at rates disproportionate to our OECD counterparts. I have been working in the intellectual property field for nearly twenty years and can share many anecdotes of Canadian companies that are world innovation leaders who, because of that charming modesty, essentially give away their intellectual property.