On October 22, 2020, the Federal Court of Canada (the Court) issued its decision in Flatwork Technologies, LLC (Powerblanket) v Brierley, 2020 FC 997, a patent impeachment action brought under section 60(1) of the Patent Act. The Court granted summary judgment, invalidating Canadian Patent 2,383,341 (the ‘341 Patent), which describes an electric heating wrap for use on articulated hydraulic booms, on the basis of obviousness.
Flatwork Technologies, LLC (Flatwork) brought a motion for summary judgment based on the grounds that the ‘341 Patent was invalid due to obviousness, anticipation, and lack of utility. The defendant, Susan Brierley, argued that Flatwork had not produced any prior art evidence to invalidate the ‘341 Patent.
The Court determined that there was no genuine issue for trial and granted Flatwork’s motion for summary judgement. The Court found that the patents available at the ‘341 Patent’s claim date would make it obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art that “…heated blankets with embedded heating coils that operate in freezing conditions can also be wrapped around an item and then fastened by straps to keep the item warm. The fact that this patent wraps around an articulating boom is not inventive.”
The Court determined that it was not necessary to consider other grounds of invalidation given its conclusion on obviousness. The Court awarded Flatwork costs of $53,996.72.
Summary By: Imtiaz Karamat
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