Friday, June 10, 2016

Affidavit from Remaining Inventors Not Required When Correcting Inventorship of Granted Patent

Qualcomm Incorporated v Canada (Commissioner of Patents) 2016 FC 499 Simpson J

Qualcomm applied for an order pursuant to s 52 of the Act, to delete Mr Palanki as a co-inventor on the ‘309 patent. The application was not opposed by CIPO and Mr Palanki consented to the order sought on the basis that he was not a co-inventor. The only difficulty is that some decisions, in particular Imperial Oil 2015 FC 1218 (blogged here) and Segatoys 2013 FC 98, had suggested that in deciding whether to remove a co-inventor, the Court should follow the test set out for the Commissioner of Patents in s 31(3) [5], which provides that when a joint applicant for a patent is removed as not being an inventor, the prosecution may be carried on by the remaining applicants “on satisfying the Commissioner by affidavit that the remaining applicant or applicants is or are the sole inventor or inventors” [6]. In this case, even though it was uncontested that Mr Palanki was not an inventor, there was no affidavit that the remaining named inventors were the sole inventors. Simpson J held that the affidavit in question is essentially a housekeeping requirement to promote the efficient processing of pending patent applications in the Patent Office and it is not required when an issued patent is being considered by the Court under s 52 [9]-[10]. She therefore granted the application. I note that this is not inconsistent with Imperial Oil and Segatoys in the result, since in both of those cases the application was also granted: neither was a case in which an application to amend under s 52 was refused for failure to provide the affidavit in question.

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