Blair v Attorney General of Canada, 2014 FC 861 Strickland J
Application 2,286,794 / “SUBWAY TV MEDIA SYSTEM”
The ‘794 application claims a subway car with video screens mounted at the junction of the
sidewall and ceiling . The Commissioner rejected the claims as being obvious, and Strickland
J, applying a deferential standard of review to the Commissioner’s application to the facts of the
(correct) obviousness test, affirmed.
The most interesting aspect of this decision is Strickland J’s holding that the Commissioner
should not be named as a respondent in the appeal . This seems to be a departure from past
practice, though as Strickland J pointed out, in cases such as Harvard College v Canada
(Commissioner of Patents), 2002 SCC 76, and The Attorney General of Canada and The
Commissioner of Patents v Amazon.com, Inc 2011 FCA 328, the issue of the Commissioner
being named as a party does not appear to have been disputed . I don’t have a good sense of
what the practical implications of this holding will be, but it was Attorney General which sought to
have the Commissioner removed, so presumably the government is satisfied that it can properly
conduct such appeals without the participation of the Commissioner.