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Canadian patent courts and appeals

About patent courts
and appeals in:

Related articles:

This article describes which bodies handle approval, rejection, and disputes of patent validity in Canada.

The entities

From highest to lowest:

  • Supreme Court
  • Federal Court of Appeal
  • Federal Court

Below this, the path depends on the nature of the case. For the path of a patent application, see the Amazon example below.

Example case: Amazon's 1-click

Amazon applied for a patent on 1-click shopping in Canada in 1998. As of November 2010, the approval of this application is still pending, subject to ongoing court cases.

Decision making entities are in bold:

  • 1998-09-11: Amazon submits its application
  • 2004-06-01: the patent examiner rejects the application
  • 2009-03-04: the Patent Review Panel (of the patent office?) upholds the rejection
    • Note: the Commissioner of Patents accepted the panel's findings and the panel's "reasons" thus become also the Commissioners "reasons"
  • 2010-10-14: the Federal Court rules that the rejection was not valid (see Amazon v. Commissioner of Patents (2010, Canada))
    • Terminology: that was "an appeal of a decision by the Commissioner of Patents" but the court does not have "appeal" in its name
  • 2010-11-15: an appeal is lodged at the Federal Court of Appeals[1]

Note: unusual delays

The decision of the Federal Court notes that the 6-year span between application and rejection was unusually long because the application was amended multiple times, and the 5-year wait for a decision from the Patent Review Panel was unusually long because two members of the panel retired and the case had to be heard a second time.

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