The Federal Court of Appeal recently affirmed a Federal Court decision concerning a costs award from the liability phase of a patent infringement action between the Dow Chemical Company and NOVA Chemicals Corporation. The awarded lump-sum payment of C$6.5 million appears to be the largest reported award that the Federal Court has ever granted in an action for patent infringement.
The Competition Bureau recently released a final updated version of its IP Enforcement Guidelines, following an extensive public consultation process held in 2015. The guidelines describe the Competition Bureau's approach to conducting investigations of alleged anti‑competitive activities that relate to intellectual property. The primary revisions cover patent settlements, product switching, patent assertion entities and standard-essential patents.
The Competition Bureau has released an update to its draft IP Enforcement Guidelines for comment. The guidelines describe the bureau's approach to the interface between competition policy and IP rights and describe how the bureau will determine whether conduct involving intellectual property raises an issue under the Competition Act.
Recently, the Competition Bureau published an updated version of the IP Enforcement Guidelines and a white paper entitled "Patent Litigation Settlement Agreements: A Canadian Perspective". The release of the updated guidelines and white paper should serve as a warning that Canadian IP owners must be alert to potential antitrust issues when exercising their IP rights and entering into transactions involving those rights.
The Competition Bureau has released a draft update of its IP Enforcement Guidelines, which sets out the bureau's views concerning the manner in which the Competition Act will be applied to conduct involving IP rights. The update includes revisions to reflect amendments made to the Competition Act in March 2009 and 2010, and brings the guidelines into line with other bureau enforcement guidelines released since 2000.
The Supreme Court recently released its hotly anticipated decision in Teva Canada Limited v Pfizer Canada Inc. In a unanimous ruling, the court found that Pfizer's patent, which claimed a new use for a class of compounds – the treatment of erectile dysfunction – failed to satisfy the disclosure requirements of the Patent Act.
The Canadian Federal Court has allowed an appeal by Amazon.com Inc of a decision of the commissioner of patents that rejected Amazon.com's patent application. In rendering its decision, the court concluded that a business method may be patented in Canada in appropriate circumstances.
Over the last several years the Federal Court has implemented various new rule amendments and practice changes to ensure that IP litigation proceeds efficiently. The court's goal is that even the most complex cases may reach a final disposition (eg, a decision following a full trial) within two years of commencement of the proceedings. In keeping with this goal is the recent introduction of a summary trial procedure.
The Federal Court recently issued a practice direction aimed at streamlining complex litigation. The court's objective is to facilitate, where possible, the scheduling of trials to commence within two years of the start of the proceeding. IP rights holders will readily appreciate that the ability to bring an infringement action to trial and obtain judgment in a timely and cost-effective manner is critical to effective enforcement.