Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Deferential Review of Factual Findings of the Re-examination Board

Newco Tank Corp v Canada (Attorney General)2015 FCA 47 Ryer J: Webb, Near JJA, aff’g 2014 FC 287 Mosley J

In this re-examination the Board cancelled three of the claims of the ‘384 patent as being obvious. An appeal to the FC was dismissed on the facts, as discussed here. On appeal to the FCA, the patentee argued that the Board had erred in law by construing the “information presented as background knowledge in the patent itself” as being an admission of the common general knowledge [7]. In particular the patentee argued that the invention lay in the identification of the problem (inefficiency in heating of liquid storage tanks at well sites) and so it was an error to conclude that the problem itself was known merely because it was identified in the patent.

The FCA dismissed the appeal on the basis that the Board’s finding that the common general knowledge of the skilled person included the information presented as background knowledge in the patent itself was simply a factual finding [10], and so was properly reviewed by the FC on a deferential (reasonableness) standard [12]. I do not take this as a holding that any statements in the patent are indeed to be considered to be admissions as to the state of the common general knowledge; as I read it, the FCA was only saying that in this particular case it was reasonable for the Board to have concluded that the statements in question described the common general knowledge.

No comments:

Post a Comment