Easton Sports Canada Inc. v. Bauer Hockey Corp.

After a trial on the merits, the trial judge held that Easton was liable for infringement with respect to some of the products at issue and that Easton induced a third party to infringe. Furthermore, the trial judge found the patent to be valid. The full decision is found here. Easton appealed the findings of validity and inducement and Bauer cross-appealed the findings of non-infringement with respect to the other products. The Court of Appeal dismissed both the appeal and the cross-appeal.

The Court of Appeal considered the construction of the patent as discussed by the trial judge and found that it was fair and purposive. As a result, the cross-appeal as to infringement of other models of skates was dismissed.

Counsel for Easton raised a new argument regarding a piece of prior art. The Court allowed the new argument as well as Bauer’s new evidence to refute this new argument. However, the new argument was held not to be sufficient to render the patent obvious. The Court also dismissed Easton’s arguments as to anticipation.

In considering the appeal relating to inducement, the Court held that it did not have to consider this issue as the trial judge had also found Easton was a direct participant in the manufacture of infringing skates and as such, this is dispositive of the issue of infringement.