On April 15, 2011, Justice Phelan granted a motion to re-open the trial of a patent infringement action in Varco Canada Limited v. Pason Systems Corp. 2011 FC 467 in order to admit new evidence. The trial of the action had already been concluded, but no reasons or judgment had issued. The motion was filed by Pason Systems after the Plaintiffs’ counsel had notified the Court that it led inaccurate evidence, and that one of its key witnesses now had a different recollection of events.

In deciding whether to grant the motion, the Court reviewed the jurisprudence for re-opening trial and considered several factors: relevance, necessity, reliability, due diligence and prejudice. The Court commented that when all of the various factors, tests and considerations are taken together, the importance of the integrity of the trial process – the search for the truth through evidence – was an overarching consideration.

Thus, the motion to reopen the trial was granted. In its conclusion, the Court stated that it cannot turn a blind eye to the admission that the evidence at trial, in some material aspects, was inaccurate and then go on to make findings on that evidence; particularly where it has not yet issued reasons or entered judgment.

The full text of the decision can be found at:

http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/2011/2011fc467/2011fc467.html