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.
Quebec Retailers Will Not be Forced to Add French to Their
The Quebec Superior Court has ruled that the Office
québécois de la langue française
("OQLF") had no legal basis to force Quebec 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
Amendments to Add Multiple New Defendants Not Allowed by Court
of Queen's Bench of Alberta
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
A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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