The only issue in this proceeding was an allegation of non-infringement and the application for prohibition was dismissed.

The Court saw the dispute between the parties as the dispute between two legal maxims regarding patent interpretation. On one hand, a patent must be read with a mind willing to understand and not a mind desirous of misunderstanding; however, on the other hand, a patent claim can not be interpreted differently in light of the specification so as to make it into something more or different from what its words express.

The Court held that if the language of the claims is plain and unambiguous and capable of only one interpretation by a person skilled in the art, recourse to the disclosure is unnecessary. When one looks beyond the language of the claims one ought to first look at dependent claims as an aid to interpreting the independent claims before resorting to the disclosure. As a result of the construction, Novopharm’s allegation of non-infringement was found to be justified.

The full text of the decision can be found at:

http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2010/2010fc42/2010fc42.html