Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Routine Correction of Inventorship

Secure Energy (Drilling Services) Inc v Canadian Energy Services LP 2021 FC 1169 Zinn J

            2,508,339 / Drilling Fluid and Methods of Use Thereof

This was a routine correction of inventorship under s 52, with Zinn J ordering the records of the Patent Office varied to remove one of the two named inventors from Secure Energy’s 339 patent. The error arose because the patent agent who prepared the application had simply asked one of the named inventors, Levey, for the names and addresses of all the inventors, without informing him of the test for inventorship [24]. Levey and the other named inventor, Ewanek, discussed the matter between themselves and decided that both should be listed, without either having the benefit of advice as to who would legally be considered an inventor [25]. In light of Levey’s uncontested evidence of the course of invention, based on his lab notebooks, Zinn J had no difficulty in finding that Levey was the sole inventor [34]–[41].

There was a minor complication because Ewanek, the named inventor who was removed from the 339 patent, was also the sole named inventor in a different patent for a related invention (the 2,624,834 patent), that was being asserted against Secure Energy by Canadian Energy Services. Secure asserted that it was the true owner of the 834 patent [6]. Because of this relationship, CES was a party to this proceeding. While CES did not contest the change in inventorship of the 339 patent, it wished to ensure that no findings would be made on the evidence relevant to both patents that might prejudice its position with respect to ownership of the 834 patent. Fortunately, Zinn J was able to decide the issue of the ownership of the 339 patent without recourse to any of the contested material [17], [34].

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