F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG v. The Commissioner of Patents, 2013 FC 1001

Hoffmann-La Roche was denied the opportunity to correct a single word error in a patent’s disclosure pursuant to ss.53(2) of the Patent Act. The impetus for the application arose from an earlier Federal Court decision where the Court admonished a patentee for not correcting a patent as drafted. However, that statement was found to have limited value, if any, as a precedent.  

Nonetheless, in this era of the “promise of the patent”, the patentee sought to remedy the uncertainty the single abbreviation “viz” could create when reading the disclosure. The Court determined that ss. 53(2) could not be a stand alone provision, rather it can only be invoked as a defence to a claim under ss.53(1). Allowing an amendment to a patent under judicial supervision is a policy choice best left for Parliament to make.