In a previous determination, the Court found, inter alia, a method claim, claim 17, had been infringed by the Defendants. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal with respect to the determination of infringement of Claim 17 and returned the issue of infringement of this claim to the Court for redetermination. On all other issues, the appeal was dismissed. This decision is the determination of the issue of infringement.
The Court noted that Court of Appeal held that “since the Defendants did not practice its instruction method which would infringe Claim 17, the Defendants could only be liable for inducing infringement of Claim 17. It was this single issue of inducement which was sent to this Court for redetermination.”
The Court first held that, while the Court of Appeal discussed the test for inducement as one that is "difficult one to meet", "a stringent test", a "strict" test, the standard of proof remains the balance of probabilities. The Court found that the practice of Claim 17 was completed by the direct infringer, which were oil companies. The Court noted that it may be difficult for a Plaintiff to prove this infringement by a customer, but the burden was met in this case by the Plaintiffs. The Court then found, on a balance of probabilities, "it is more likely than not that customers purchased the infringing products and used them in accordance with the operating/maintenance manual provided to the end user oil companies." The Court found that the Defendants knowingly infringed, or ought to have known that they would infringe, the patent.
Therefore, the Court found that the Defendants infringed Claim 17 by inducing their customers to practice the method claimed therein