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Federal Court refuses Adeia’s pleadings amendment

The Federal Court refused a motion to amend a pleading in a patent infringement action by Adeia (formerly Rovi) for the operation of Bell’s Fibe TV, Satellite TV, and Crave TV services.

The defendants had pleaded that Adeia’s manner of prosecuting, licensing and enforcing patents disqualified it from the equitable relief they sought. Adeia sought to add a phrase to its Amended Reply and Defence to Counterclaim to make the licensing and prosecution practices of the defendants and other entities relevant:

52A. Furthermore, the plaintiffs expressly deny the defendants’ characterization at paragraph 101. These allegations are without merit – the plaintiffs’ licensing and patent prosecution practices are consistent with the laws of Canada, including the Patent Act, the Patent Rules, and MOPOP, and the practices of other entities who own, acquire, and license patents, including the practices of the defendants themselves.

Crinson AJ determined that the disputed phrase did not directly pertain to Adeia’s infringement claims and was analogous to a pleading of “similar conduct in the marketplace,” which was untenable in law:

[14] The disputed phrase in the proposed amended pleading does not relate directly to the Plaintiffs’ claims of infringement of any of the four patents in suit in this action. The proposed allegation is not even limited to the parties in this action or the field of technology in dispute. The proposed allegation is akin to that of “similar conduct in the marketplace” which was explicitly rejected by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Nesbitt Burns, supra, as not tenable in law.

The Court awarded $2,500 to the Defendants.

The full decision can be read here.