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PATENTS - Application - Amendment or correction - Jurisdiction

Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 6:14 AM  


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Appeal by Salt Canada Inc. from a decision dismissing its application for an order directing the Commissioner of Patents to vary the records to reflect the appellant was owner of the ‘058 Patent. The Federal Court held that it did not have jurisdiction over the application because the application required it to adjudicate a contractual dispute, a matter reserved exclusively to the provincial superior courts.

HELD: Appeal allowed. The application was granted. The Federal Court erred in finding it had no jurisdiction. On the plain language of s. 26 of the Federal Courts Act and s. 52 of the Patent Act, the Federal Court had jurisdiction over the appellant’s application. The Federal Court was given the express jurisdiction to make an order involving the title to patents and the Federal Court’s role in superintending the Patent Office. The plain meaning of the words of s. 52 of the Patent Act was clear. A consideration of context and purpose confirmed the plain meaning that the Federal Court had the jurisdiction to vary or expunge the title to a patent as reflected in the records of the Patent Office. The power given under s. 52 of the Patent Act was a judicial one, to determine issues of title to a patent. The fact that agreements and other commercial instruments needed to be construed and interpreted as part of the exercise of jurisdiction did not eliminate that jurisdiction. Interpreting agreements and other commercial instruments was not the exclusive preserve of provincial superior courts.

Salt Canada Inc. v. Baker, [2020] F.C.J. No. 810, Federal Court of Appeal, D.W. Stratas, D.G. Near and J.M. Woods JJ.A., July 28, 2020. Digest No. TLD-September72020006