Dtechs EPM Ltd. v British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and Awesense Wireless Inc., 2021 FC 190

Justice Fothergill - 2021-03-16

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dTechs alleges that BC Hydro uses a system, supplied by Awesense, that relies on the methods described in the 087 Patent to detect electricity theft, and thereby infringes specified claims of the patent. While Awesense does not perform each of the steps itself, dTechs says that it is liable for inducing or procuring its customers to infringe the 087 Patent. dTechs also alleges that Awesense is liable under the legal doctrine of common design. For the reasons that follow, neither BC Hydro nor Awesense, individually or together, infringes the asserted claims of the 087 Patent. Furthermore, the asserted claims of the 087 Patent are invalid on the grounds of anticipation and obviousness. ... Applying the test endorsed in Free World Trust, it is clear that “notifying the utility” is not an essential element of claim 1. ... There is no evidence that BC Hydro or Awesense compare any primary line readings to “known consumption patterns”, as that element of independent claims 1 and 21 is properly construed. ... There is no infringement of a patent in selling an article that does not in itself infringe the patent, even when the vendor knows that the purchaser buys the article for the purpose of using it in the infringement of the patent ... There is therefore no evidence to contradict Mr. Shepherd’s conclusion that BC Hydro’s prior use anticipates and enables independent claims 1 and 21. ... [The inventor] considered it “clear and self-evident that to put the meter at the primary line instead of at the transformer level was the better way to do it”, given the advantages he had identified. ... I therefore conclude that the asserted claims of the 087 Patent are invalid on the ground of obviousness.

Decision relates to:



Canadian Intellectual Property