Patents at the US Supreme Court

Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments (link) on two patent cases:

  • Commil USA v. Cisco Systems (13-896) relating to whether a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid is a defence to induced infringement; and
  • Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises  (13-720) relating to whether the 1964 decision in Brulotte which held that “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects beyond the expiration date of the patent is unlawful per se“, should be overruled.

Updates

Here are some updates on previously posted items:

Technology Neutrality

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in CBC v. SODRAC, an appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision on what copyright royalties are payable on ephemeral copies under the principles of technology neutrality.

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CIPO

Sylvain Laporte, Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks has been appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency, effective March 9, 2015.

 

 

Judicial Appointments

Honourable Justice Rennie has been elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal. Also today, Honourable Denis Gascon has been appointed to the Federal Court. Gascon was formerly with Norton Rose Fulbright Canada in Montreal practising in the area of competition law and international trade regulations.

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Amendments to Plant Breeders’ Rights Act

Changes to the Plant Breeders’  Rights Act received royal assent today. The legislation, Bill C-18, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to agriculture and agri-food, includes changes addressing the duration, scope and exceptions to the rights under the Act.

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Federal Court Modernization

The Federal Courts Rules have been amended to remove obstacles to greater use of technology by the court. Among other things, the changes permit the registry to maintain an official electronic record, clarifying electronic service, amend the definition of ‘document’ and permit electronic filing. Also, the Federal Court has published a Notice to the Profession regarding obtaining copies from the digital audio recording system used at hearings.

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NAFTA Arbitration

The government has posted its counter memorial regarding Eli Lilly’s NAFTA arbitration of Canada’s ‘promise utility doctrine’. The next phase, according to the proceeding’s schedule, is the production of documents.

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Judicial Appointments

The Honourable Richard Bell, formerly of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick, has been appointed to the Federal Court. Appointments were also made to the Tax Court, Nova Scotia courts, Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, and Ontario Superior Court.

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Canadian Trademark Firms in 2014

About 50,400 trademark applications were filed in Canada in 2014. Of these, about 20% were filed in-house or without an agent (about the same as in the last couple of years). Gowlings, Bereskin & Parr and Smart & Biggar were the firms that filed the most trademark applications. Check out my list of the 50 firms/agents that filed the most applications in 2014.

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