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Federal Court allows application to correct ownership after inadvertent error in assignment of patent rights

On January 19, 2016 Justice Shore granted an application under section 52 of the Patent Act to vary all entries in the Patent Office related to the ownership of Canadian Patent No. 2,406,340 by recording Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc. as the owner.

Gray Automotive Products Co. employed the named inventor of the 340 Patent, William Baker, when he developed the invention. Mr. Baker intended to assign all rights, title and interest throughout the world to his employer but inadvertently made the assignment to “Gray Automotive Products, Inc.” Following the assignment, Gray Automotive Products Co. changed its name to Gray Manufacturing Company Inc. and brought an application pursuant to section 52 to correct the assignment.

 Section 52 of the Patent Act gives the Federal Court jurisdiction to order that any entry in the records of the Patent Office relating to the title to a patent be varied or expunged. Justice Shore noted that the word “title” in section 52 has been broadly interpreted to include matters relating ownership of a patent. In granting the application Justice Shore found that the evidence submitted by the applicant established that the inventor had intended to assign his rights to the applicant, the mistake was unintentional, made in good faith and was made without any attempt to mislead or cause delay.

 A copy of Justice Shore’s Judgment and Reasons can be found here.