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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

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SCC To Weigh In On Fees For Identifying ISP Subscribers: Rogers v. Voltage

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

One of the essential and recurring challenges of regulating unlawful conduct on the Internet—be it child pornography, harassment, fraud, data theft, content piracy, or otherwise—is identifying who is responsible.

Frequently, one can identify an IP address that is (or may be) a target of interest. IP addresses can be traced to responsible organizations, through publicly accessible registries.  However, to complete the chain back to a person generally requires the cooperation of the organization.

Commercial ISPs are in the business of providing IP addresses (and network connectivity) to their customers. So, inevitably, they find themselves on the receiving end of many … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Canada Rejects NIAs, and Strikes S. 8 Damages in LOSEC (omeprazole) Patent Infringement Damages Decision

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

In AstraZeneca v Apotex, 2017 FC 726, the Federal Court issued its damages decision concerning Apotex’s infringement of a patent pertaining to AstraZeneca’s LOSEC (omeprazole) drug. This decision offers insight in the factual hurdles a generic must overcome to establish an ex post facto non-infringing alternative (NIA), and confirms that s. 8 damages are not available during a period in which a generic would be infringing a patent, as there is no compensable loss.… Continue Reading

CETA Implementation: New Era of Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Begins

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

The provisional application of CETA takes effect in Canada today, ushering in a new era for pharmaceutical patent litigation. As part of this implementation, amendments to the Patent Act, the Patent Rules and the PM(NOC) Regulations, as well as the new Certificates of Supplemental Protection (CSP) Regulations, came into force today. See our previous posts on the new PM(NOC) Regulations and CSP Regulations for key details about these new schemes.

Health Canada issued a Guidance Document relating to the CSP Regulations and a Notice in Respect of the PM(NOC) Regulations.  The CSP Guidance Document provides information … Continue Reading

Revised NOC Regulations to Come Into Force on September 21, 2017

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

The Government of Canada has announced that the amended NOC regulations will come into force on September 21, 2017. These amendments will implement sweeping changes to pharmaceutical patent litigation in Canada pursuant to obligations imposed under CETA. The changes will apply to proceedings commenced in respect of NOAs served on or after September 21, 2017.

The final text of the amended NOC Regulations does not differ from the initial draft published on July 15, 2017, as summarized by our previous blog here.… Continue Reading

Public Consultation on Reform of the Copyright Board of Canada Launched

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property

From August 9, 2017 to September 29, 2017, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is holding a public consultation on proposed reforms to the Copyright Board of Canada.

Among its other regulatory functions, the Copyright Board of Canada establishes the amount of tariffs to be paid for copyrighted content in a variety of areas where a copyright collective is tasked with administering those rights. These areas include music streaming, the public performance of music, educational copying, and the retransmission of television signals.

The consultation comes after a lengthy history of stakeholder complaints concerning the decision-making processes of the Board, including … Continue Reading

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal Affirms Invalidity of Idenix Patent for Insufficient Disclosure

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

In their decision reported as 2017 FCA 161, the Federal Court of Appeal says s. 27(3) of the Patent Act requires the patent to disclose both the invention, and how to make the invention. Further, that a patent will not lack sufficient disclosure where routine experimentation is required of a skilled person. However, disclosure is insufficient if the specification “necessitates the working out of a problem”.

In this case, the patent did not teach a step necessary to synthesize the claimed compound. The issue was whether this gap could be filled by the common general knowledge of the skilled … Continue Reading

Canada Gets Ready To Introduce Patent Term Restoration For The First Time

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

As a part of its obligations under CETA, Canada plans to introduce patent term restoration for up to two years when research or regulatory delays have consumed part of the 20-year term of a pharmaceutical patent. Patent term restoration will occur via the grant of a so-called certificate of supplementary protection (“CSP”).

On July 15, 2017, the government of Canada published its proposed Certificate of Supplementary Protection Regulations (“CSP Regulations”) which, in conjunction with amendments to the Patent Act, will create the framework for the issuance of CSPs which will be administered by Canada’s Minister … Continue Reading

Ten Significant Changes to Canada’s NOC Regulations

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On July 15, 2017, the Canadian government published (link) its proposed amendments to the NOC Regulations. These amendments will implement sweeping changes to pharmaceutical patent litigation in Canada pursuant to obligations imposed under CETA. There will be a 15-day comment period, after which, the amendments will be published in final form. The finalized amendments are expected to be in force around late September 2017. These revamped NOC Regulations will apply to Notices of Allegation (“NOAs”) served on or after the date the revamped NOC Regulations come into force.

Overall, the revamped NOC RegulationsContinue Reading

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Constitutional Challenge of Inter Partes Review Procedure for Patents

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

Canadian hydraulic fracturing technology (“fracking”) is at the center of a controversial US case about inter partes review (“IPR”) of patents.[1] The IPR procedure can be a useful defense against patent infringement actions brought by non-practicing entities or “patent trolls.” However, on June 12, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case challenging the constitutionality of the IPR procedure. A SCOTUS decision abolishing or curtailing the IPR procedure, and the ensuing patent troll activity, could have ramifications for Canadian business, including in the fracking industry.… Continue Reading

‘Promise Doctrine’ Abolished by the Supreme Court of Canada

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

On June 30, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada, released a landmark patent decision (2017 SCC 36) abolishing Canada’s so-called ‘Promise Doctrine’ by finding it “unsound”, “not good law” and “incongruent with the both the words and scheme of the Patent Act.”Continue Reading

Federal Court Strikes Claim Where Allegations of Patent Infringement Were Speculative

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

On June 12, 2017, Prothonotary Aylen of the Federal Court issued her decision in Mostar Directional Technologies Inc. v Drill-Tek Corporation et al., 2017 FC 575. Prothonotary Aylen struck the Plaintiff’s claim, holding that the pleading was speculative and failed to provide sufficient material facts for the allegation of patent infringement.

In this case, the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants infringed Canadian Patent Nos. 2,666,695, 2,544,457, 2,584,671, and 2,634,236 which relate generally to down hole drilling technologies. The Plaintiff’s claim identified the Defendants’ model names and listed the patent claims that were alleged to be infringed. After demanding … Continue Reading

The Power of an Inference: Federal Court Restores $125 Million S. 8 Damages Award

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

In Teva v. Pfizer Canada, 2017 FC 526, the Federal Court reaffirmed and reissued a judgment awarding Teva a section 8 damages award in excess of $125 million relating to the drug EFFEXOR XR® (venlafaxine). This decision offers insight into the legal limits on what inferences can be drawn about a generic’s ability to source sufficient drug supply in the but-for damages world.

The key issue at this redetermination[1] was whether Teva would have had and could have had access to sufficient quantities of venlafaxine at the relevant time to support its notional sales in … Continue Reading

Internal Technology Transfer Gone Wrong: Composite Technologies Inc. v. Shawcor Ltd., 2017 ABCA 160

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation

Intellectual property is transferrable. And you should be careful with how you transfer your IP among your corporate family, especially if it constitutes the principal value in your business – and in your life’s work!

One IP owner in Alberta had the misfortune of making a transfer to a subsidiary which he eventually allowed to be dissolved. When it came time to assert his ownership rights in the technology in a court, his suit was summarily dismissed as meritless.

Recently, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that this outcome was correct.… Continue Reading

Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory: UK Patent Court Enjoins Huawei from using Standard Essential Patents Owned by a Non-Practicing Entity

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On April 4, 2017, the Honorable Justice Birss of the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division) issued his decision in Unwired Planet International v Huawei Technologies, [2017] EWHC 711 (Pat). The decision provides a comprehensive review of the application of Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) principles to the licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs).… Continue Reading

Information location tool and fair dealing copyright defenses rejected: Trader v CarGurus

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property

If you’ve ever shopped for a used car, you likely know the two popular services, autotrader.ca and CarGurus. In a decision released earlier this week in Trader v CarGurus, 2017 ONSC 1841, Trader (the owner and operator of autotrader.ca) was awarded statutory damages of $305,604 against CarCurus for infringements of its copyrights in photographs of vehicles. The decision written by Justice Conway of the Ontario Superior Court contains some important interpretations of the Copyright Act including in relation to the scope of the new making available right, the copyright defenses for information location tools and fair dealing, and the calculation … Continue Reading

LOT Network

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In a previous blog post, we briefly discussed the LOT Network’s initiative in in the fight against patent assertion entities (PAEs), more commonly known as patent trolls. Since the publication of that post, the LOT Network has overhauled its member agreement and published new information and statistics on how the program is working to protect companies from PAEs We have provided below a brief summary of some of the key changes.… Continue Reading

Drug testing in Canadian patent suit not permitted to be used in foreign litigation

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

In a rare case where drug samples were given under consent in an NOC proceeding Novartis sought, but was denied, to use these samples in a related litigation in Portugal (2016 FC 1091).

Samples are rarely provided in NOC proceedings. Nevertheless, production may be compelled if samples were provided to the Minister as part of the drug submission (Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (SOR/93-133), s. 6(7)). This was not the situation in this case where Mylan consented to producing the samples, subject to the existing protective order.… Continue Reading

Website operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v Evans

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Litigation

Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal in Evans, R. v [2017] EWCA Crim 139 (14 February 201), the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.… Continue Reading

TPMs Are Alive and Well: Canada’s Federal Court Awards Nintendo $12.7-million in Damages

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Litigation

Five years ago, Canada enacted legal protection for technological protection measures (TPMs) as part of the Copyright Modernization Act. The Federal Court has now  rendered the first decision  interpreting  these important rights. In short, the court  made it clear that legal protection for TPMs were meant to foster innovation in the creative industries and that businesses blatantly engaging in industrial scale TPM circumvention activities will be dealt with harshly by the courts.

In Nintendo of America Inc. v. King & Go Cyber Shopping (2005) Ltd., 2017 FC 246 (docket here; decision available soon on the Federal Court website and … Continue Reading

Availability of non-infringing product is relevant in determining profit recovery for infringing activities

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In a recent decision (Apotex Inc. v. ADIR, 2017 FCA 23), the Federal Court of Appeal determined that the Federal Court erred in law by rejecting the relevance at law of any available non-infringing product and failed to adequately consider the evidence adduced as to the ability and willingness of three suppliers to provide non-infringing product. According to the Court of Appeal:

  • To the extent the Federal Court rejected the relevance of non-infringing perindopril because the defendant sold perindopril, this conclusion was inconsistent with Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser, 2004 SCC 34 where the Roundup Ready
Continue Reading

Copyright Infringement Class Action Over University Course Packs Certified in Quebec: Copibec c. Université Laval

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Litigation

On February 8, 2017, the Quebec Court of Appeal certified a class action by Copibec against Université Laval, for copyright infringement.

This decision overturns a Superior Court ruling from 2016, which would have dismissed the claim on the basis that Copibec did not satisfy the eligibility requirements under the province’s Code of Civil Procedure for an association to bring a class action on behalf of its members.

Copibec is a collective management organization representing book publishers, visual artists, and newspaper and periodical authors and publishers in Quebec.

Copibec alleges that, in 2014, Université Laval declined to renew its license agreement … Continue Reading

NPEs Beware: Contorted Construction of a Patent Will Attract Elevated Costs

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents, Telecommunications

On January 4, 2017, the Honourable Justice Locke of the Federal Court of Canada released his decision in Mediatube Corp. et al. v. Bell Canada, 2017 FC 6. This was a patent infringement action in respect of Canadian Patent No. 2,339,477 (the “‘477 Patent”) by the plaintiffs, NorthVu Inc. (patent owner) and MediaTube Corp. (licensee) against Bell Canada  (including former Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, together “Bell”). The plaintiffs alleged that Bell infringed the ‘477 Patent through the delivery of its digital Internet Protocol Television (“IPTV”) services called Fibe TV and FibreOp … Continue Reading

Cheese, olives and other agricultural products to get geographical indication protection under CETA

Posted in Intellectual Property, Trade-marks

Canada’s latest trade deal is set to expand the protection of geographical indications to a wide array of agricultural products.

On October 30, 2016, Canada and the European Union signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”). A day later, the Government of Canada tabled Bill C-30 (the “Bill”) for the purpose of implementing CETA into the country’s legislative landscape. One of the primary operative effects of CETA, as a trade agreement, is that it will eliminate 95% of all existing tariffs applied to goods traded between the two jurisdictions. Apart from the direct economic impact … Continue Reading

CETA Implementation in Canada: Bill C-30 Brings Significant Changes to the Canadian Patent System

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

Changes are coming swiftly, as the federal government moves to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) just days after it was signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in Brussels at the end of October 2016.

These changes will significantly impact biologic/pharma patents in two major ways. First, they will implement, for the first time, a Canadianized version of patent-term restoration. Second, they will revamp the current framework for linkage between patents and the approval of biosimilar/generic drugs in Canada by giving innovators the right of appeal, by changing the nature of the PM(NOC) proceedings to a more U.S.-style approach, … Continue Reading