Patent An Invention Canada
February 23, 2012 by staff
Patent An Invention Canada, A recent Canadian decision has invalidated most of the claims of a patent for failure to meet the promised utility. The decision has also effectively introduced into Canadian law the concept of enhanced damages for willful infringement.
A number of recent decisions by Canadian courts have highlighted the importance of meeting the utility requirement imposed under the Canadian Patent Act. Although many of these decisions have focused on pharmaceutical inventions, the decision of the Federal Court (the Court) in Eurocopter v. Bell Helicopter Textron Canada emphasizes the need to satisfy the utility requirement in mechanical cases as well.
In addition, while Canadian law does not provide for treble damage awards for willful infringement as in the U.S., the decision serves as a strong warning to businesses that infringement of a patent may, in certain circumstances, result in the imposition of punitive damages.
Eurocopter sued Bell for patent infringement. Bell counterclaimed that it did not infringe the patent and that the patent was invalid on various grounds. As discussed below, the Court found all but one of the claims of the patent to be invalid for lack of utility. The remaining claim was held valid and infringed. Bell’s conduct was also found to be willful and egregious, thereby warranting an award of punitive damages.
The patent relates to an improved landing gear for helicopters and contains 16 claims.
The landing gear comprises a pair of skis or skids connected by front and rear cross bars. The front cross bar was the primary focus of the invention. The prior art taught landing gears having a front cross bar that is mounted behind the ski tips. Through various studies, the inventors developed the “Moustache” landing gear, which had a sleigh-shaped design comprising a front cross bar that was integrally formed with the front ends of the skis and which was bent upwards to lie above the plane of the skis. The patent describes in particular two embodiments of the landing gear, where the front cross bar is inclined either forwardly or rearwardly of the front ends of the skis.
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