Patent Cases

Patent to an “Expandable and Contractible Hose” found to be obvious
E. Mishan & Sons, Inc. v. Supertek Canada Inc., 2014 FC 326

One of the plaintiffs in this patent infringement suit is the inventor of Canadian Patent No. 2,779,882, a patent that claims a compact garden hose that expands to about two and a half times its length when water pressure is applied, and it retracts when the pressure is removed. Hoses that embody features of the patent are sold online and in television infomercials.

In reviewing the prior art, the Court found that a patent to a length-expandable hose used with an oxygen mask in aviation would have been found by a person of skill in the art. Armed with this patent, it was held that a skilled person would find and adapt this hose for use as a garden hose, thus the claims in issue were obvious. As a result, the infringement claim was dismissed.

Issues relating to a related industrial design and other claims under the Trade-marks Act and the Competition Act were bifurcated to a later time.

Trademarks Cases

Quebec Retailers Will Not be Forced to Add French to Their Signs
Magasins Best Buy Ltée et al. c. Procureur général du Québec, 2014 QCCS 1427 (French only)

The Québec Superior Court has ruled that the Office québécois de la langue française (“OQLF”) had no legal basis to force Québec retailers to add a French name, slogan or descriptor to their commercial English trademarks. Several major retailers (i.e. Best Buy, Costco, Gap, Old Navy, Guess?, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Curves) commenced this proceeding when they were ordered by the province to change their storefront signs to include generic French wording to describe the retailers’ type of business. INTA and the Conseil canadien du commerce de détail intervened.

For a more detailed review of this decision, click here.

Copyright Cases

Amendments to Add Multiple New Defendants Not Allowed by Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
Geophysical Service Incorporated v. Nwest Energy Corp., 2014 ABQB 205

The plaintiff sought to amend its Statement of Claim to add new defendants, including some identified by name and 26 defendants identified as Companies A – Z. The plaintiff also sought to increase the amount of the claim. The action relates to claims of breach of confidence, infringement of copyright, conversion and inducing breach of contract.

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta allowed proposed “housekeeping” amendments but did not allow the addition of the majority of the proposed defendants. The Court allowed the addition of one defendant that has some commonality with one of the original defendants, noting that the test is whether the proposed claim is arguable.

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Allows Amendment to Add Individual Defendant
Resource Well Completion Technologies Inc. v. Canuck Completions Ltd., 2014 ABQB 209

In a breach of confidence and copyright infringement action in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the plaintiff sought to add a claim against a new individual defendant.

After noting the test to be met in respect of amendments to pleadings, namely that the claim is not hopeless, the Court allowed the amendments.

Other Industry News

Health Canada has released an updated Guidance Document – Product Monograph.

Health Canada has released a Notice - Final Release: Plain Language Revisions to Part   III: Patient Medication Information and Associated Templates of the Guidance Document -   Product Monograph.

Health Canada has released a number of updated Forms for application for various classes of Medical Device Licence.


Chantal Saunders

Adrian J. Howard

Beverley Moore


Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property Litigation