Corlac Inc. v. Weatherford Canada Ltd.

The Court of Appeal remitted a case to the Court, requiring the Court to redetermine whether Corlac had infringed a method claim by inducement. A copy of the Federal Court decision can be found here. A copy of our summary can be found here. On redetermination, the Court found that the Court of Appeal did not disturb its finding relating to the second part of the test for inducement, namely that Corlac’s instruction manual instructed the practice of the claimed method and therefore this finding was res judicata. This is an appeal from the Court’s finding.

The Court of Appeal held that the Court was correct to review the reasons of the Court of Appeal to determine the scope of the matter remitted to the Court. The Court of Appeal then noted that the Court’s conclusion that res judicata applied is reviewable on the standard of correctness and the Court’s determination of the scope of the question remitted by the Court of Appeal is also a question of law and subject to review on the correctness standard.

The Court of Appeal found that the Court erred in finding that this question relating to the second part of the test for inducement was res judicata. The Court of Appeal held that this question was to be determined by the Court because the Court of Appeal remitted the entire question of inducement back to the Court. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal found that the Court erred when defining the scope of the matter remitted to the Court and the redetermination decision was set aside by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal ordered that the following question be re-determined by the Court: “does the appellants’ instruction manual, properly understood, instruct the practice of the method of claim 17? Once this issue is determined, on the basis of the Judge’s findings at the prior redetermination hearing (which have not been challenged on this appeal), the Judge will decide whether the appellants have infringed claim 17.”