On December 14, 2017, the Canadian Patent Appeal Board (Board) in decision number 1436 regarding an application entitled “Delivery Notice and Method Using the Same” recommended that the application be refused on the basis that claimed invention is directed to non-statutory subject matter, is obvious, and is indefinite.

Delivery notices are typically left by delivery service personnel in the event a delivery is unsuccessful. The information contained within these notices often is not associated with the parcel, making it difficult for recipients to retrieve the parcel information. This is the problem the claimed invention attempts to solve.

The application proposed as a solution that each delivery notice bear a unique identifier and that when delivery service personnel leave a notice, they record this identifier, the identifiers of any involved parcels and any other relevant information. In essence, the solution links delivery notice, delivery attempt, and parcel information together. The patent examiner found that this invention as claimed does not qualify as patent-eligible subject matter.

The Board agreed with the examiner, recommending that the application be refused on the basis that the claims:

are drawn to non-statutory subject matter;

are drawn to subject matter would have been obvious as of the claim; and

do not comply with subsection of 27(4) of the Patent Act or section 84 of the Patent Rules for being indefinite and unclear.

The full decision of the Board can be found here.

Summary By: Jae Morris


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