The Canadian Supreme Court has issued another decision that recognized the limits of intellectual property. This case, a pharmaceutical patent fight between AstraZeneca and Apotex, includes language from the court that explicitly warns against the practice of evergreening, whereby pharmaceutical companies seek to extend the life of patent protection by […]
Post Tagged with: "Patent"
Last month I wrote about the patent battle between Blackboard and Canada's Desire2Learn. Desire2Learn has just filed its response in the Texas court.
So begins my weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC International version, homepage version) which does not discuss the RIM-NTP patent suit but rather the recent patent lawsuit launched by Blackboard, a learning management system company, against Desire2Learn, a Canadian competitor. Both the patent and the lawsuit have generated enormous anger within the academic and open source software communities.
My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines new Canadian Supreme Court nominee Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein, whose lengthy record on patent, copyright, and trademark matters suggests that he may very well challenge the status quo at Canada' s highest court. The column uncovers several speeches by Justice Rothstein that reveal a candid judge who is uncomfortable with incorporating policy into the legal decision making process, who is willing to examine intellectual property laws of other jurisdictions, and who recognizes the limits of intellectual property law.
Justice Rothstein, who appears before a House of Commons committee today, has emerged as a prominent jurist on intellectual property cases at the Federal Court of Appeal. His best-known decision is the Harvard Mouse case, which addressed the question of whether higher life forms, in this case the "oncomouse", could be patented. Justice Rothstein ruled that it could, concluding that there was nothing in the definition of "invention" under the Patent Act to preclude such patents.
Justice Rothstein has also presided over leading copyright and trademark cases. He wrote a concurring opinion in Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH Canadian, a copyright case that focused on the photocopying of legal decisions. He sided with the majority in a high-profile trademark battle between Lego and Montreal-based Mega Blocks.