In Angelcare Canada Inc v Munchkin, Inc, 2023 FC 1111, the Federal Court examined the plaintiffs’ entitlement to injunctive relief, entitlement to accounting of profits, entitlement to punitive damages, and which of the plaintiffs was entitled to a pecuniary remedy and for what period of time. This blog post will focus on the entitlement to injunctive relief. Our blog posts on the other topics covered by this decision can be found here (entitlement to accounting of profits), here (entitlement to punitive damages), and here (plaintiffs’ entitlement to remedies).
In a prior decision, Angelcare Canada Inc v Munchkin, Inc, 2022 FC 507, the Federal Court had found that generations 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the defendants’ cassettes for diaper pails infringed the plaintiffs’ patents.
The Federal Court examined whether the plaintiffs are entitled to a permanent injunction concerning generations 1, 2 and 3 of the defendants’ cassettes. The Court had already granted a permanent injunction concerning the infringing generation 4 cassettes.
The defendants argued that the Court should not grant an injunction because generations 1, 2 and 3 were no longer being sold in Canada. However, the defendants could not answer whether there are still cassettes of generations 1, 2 and 3 outside Canada. In addition, the patents in question would not expire until 2028.
The Court was unconvinced by the defendants’ argument that the Court should refrain from granting an injunction in the absence of evidence of imminent patent infringement. The Court held that, as a result of section 57 of the Patent Act, a permanent injunction appears to be the natural consequence of a finding of infringement. A permanent injunction would allow the plaintiffs to proceed by way of contempt of court if the defendants infringed the order.
According to the Court
The uncertainty concerning the existence of cassettes of generations 1, 2 and 3, together with patents that remain valid for many years, militates in favour of granting the natural remedy to patent infringement, which is the injunction provided for specifically at paragraph 57(1)(a) of the Act.
The Court concluded that the plaintiffs are entitled to a permanent injunction for the infringing generations 1, 2 and 3 of the defendants’ cassettes.
A copy of the decision is available here.