In a recent case, the Federal Court granted summary judgment in favour of the plaintiff in respect of its patent impeachment action. This decision further demonstrates the Federal Court's recent willingness to grant summary judgment in patent cases in appropriate circumstances. Accordingly, it appears that in certain cases, summary judgment may be a viable option to resolve patent disputes more expeditiously while avoiding the costs of a full patent trial.
The Federal Court recently dismissed an action for delay following a status review under Section 382.1 of the Federal Courts Rules where the proceeding remained at the documentary discovery stage with outstanding motions pending more than six years after the action had been commenced. The plaintiff's had alleged infringement of Canadian Patent 2,595,723 in respect of water treatment processes used in Cenovus's steam-assisted gravity drainage oil production facilities.
The Federal Court recently released the first decision in which the scope of Section 53.1 of the Patent Act – the so-called 'file wrapper estoppel' provision – was considered. The court's decision suggests that, notwithstanding the clear language of the provision, foreign prosecution histories may be admissible for the purposes of claim construction in certain extraordinary circumstances.
A recent Federal Court of Appeal decision has shed light on a streamlined litigation procedure that brand owners may find attractive. In its decision, the court suggested that trademark owners which commence infringement proceedings in the Federal Court, by way of the summary procedure known as 'application', may still be able to recover damage awards – even by way of a reference.