Utility

Usefulness, or utility, is a statutory requirement for patentability. The
standard for utility is low. Utility is a necessary pre-condition for patentability. In order for a patent to be valid, the invention it purports to protect must be useful.

February 3, 2022
A photo of an iPhone screen showing an icon to launch the Google app.

Google’s AdWords Defeats Competitor’s Patent Infringement Claim

Canada's Federal Court dismissed allegations by Paid Search Engine that Google infringed a patent for optimizing paid search engines.
January 24, 2022
Photo of a pharmacist holding out a yellow pill in one hand and a white pill in another hand. A patient reaches for the yellow pill.

Teva Blocks Competitor With Patent for 40 mg/mL Dose of Copaxone®

Outside Canada, Teva’s Copaxone® 40mg/mL dosing patents have been invalidated for obviousness, making way for generic competitors.
December 19, 2017

Federal Court Upholds Pfizer’s Polymorph Patent for the Depression Drug PRISTIQ as Inventive and Useful

2017 FC 777 - The FC rejected Teva’s allegations that Pfizer's Canadian patent was obvious and lacked utility. The FC found that the POSITA would not have been able to predict the novel crystalline form taught by the patent, and that the subject-matter of the invention claimed in the patent was useful.
December 12, 2017

Federal Court shoots down an attempted revival of the promise doctrine

2017 FC 774 - The FC granted Pfizer's order pursuant to Section 6 of the PM(NOC) Regulations, prohibiting the Minister of Health from issuing a NOC to Apotex, with respect to a Canadian patent The FC found, on a balance of probabilities, that Apotex’s allegations of obviousness, inutility, non-infringement, overpromising, anticipation and double patenting were not justified.
November 14, 2017
insomnia

Federal Court finds Insomnia-treating Drug Patent neither Invalid nor Infringed

2016 FC 1362 - The formulation patent for the insomnia-treating drug zolpidem was found to be substantially valid, but not infringed by Pharmascience's generic version of zolpidem.
October 10, 2017
insufficient disclosure

Federal Court of Appeal Upholds Finding of Insufficient Disclosure

2017 FCA 161 - The FCA dismissed Idenix's appeal to a FC decision in which Idenix's Canadian patent was found invalid for insufficient disclosure and its counterclaim against Gilead was dismissed.
June 30, 2017

Canada’s Supreme Court Abolishes Controversial “Promise Doctrine”

2017 SCC 36 - The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the “promise doctrine” of Canadian patent law in favour of merely requiring a single use related to the nature of the subject-matter of the invention having a scintilla of utility.
June 27, 2017

ICSID Tribunal dismisses Eli Lilly’s NAFTA claim against Canada

Case No. UNCT/14/2 - An ICSID Tribunal dismissed Eli Lilly’s claim against Canada, which was brought in relation to two Canadian patents owned by Eli Lilly that had been invalidated for failing to provide the utility they promised.
June 6, 2017

Allergan fails to demonstrate to FC that Apotex’s allegations of invalidity are not justified

2016 FC 344 - Apotex alleged in its Notice of Allegation and submissions that the ‘632 Patent was invalid because it was obvious and lacked utility. The FC found that the allegation was justified.
March 14, 2017

Federal Court Grants Prohibition Order on Generic Psoriasis-treating Ointment

2015 FC 1237 - The FC heard and granted an application by Leo Pharma to prohibit Teva Canada from being issued a Notice of Compliance under the PM(NOC) Regulations.