A Lesson in Costs: Know your Patent Claims before Asserting Infringement

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By Scott Miller and Deborah Meltzer, January 24th, 2017

MediaTube Corp v Bell Canada, 2017 FC 16 appears to provide a promising Canadian judgement that clarifies the assessment of the validity and infringement of an information technology patent with respect to the telecommunications industry. Unfortunately, the underlying thrust of the litigation quickly departed from claims of validity and infringement to a dispute over costs. The primary issue was that initially the plaintiffs’ did not have a clear claim of infringement, for which they were justifiably penalized with significant costs. In addition, it was concluded that despite their “477 patent” being valid, there was no infringement, and thus no costs were awarded against Bell.

Whether or not this case marks a victory for IT companies warding off so-called “patent-trolls”, is questionable. Canadian jurisprudence is calling for a foundational IT patent case; however, given the weaknesses in the plaintiffs’ infringement allegations, this judgement falls short of the mark of providing any real direction to patent owners with specific arguable claims. At best, it serves as a stepping stone to future patent infringement actions that will effectively guide both patentees as well as mega IT corporations.

For more information please contact:

Scott Miller, Partner, Head of the Litigation Department

T: 613.801.1099

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Deborah Meltzer

T: 613.801.1077

E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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