Case Comment

Reliance Electric Industrial Company et. al. v.
Northern Telecom Limited et al.,

citation(s): (1993) 47 C.P.R. (3d) 55 (F.C.T.D. PER Reed J.)

copyright 1997 Donald M. Cameron, Aird & Berlis




The Decision

At p. 61:

"The interpretation of the claims, and indeed of the patent as a whole, is a matter for the Court. The judge, in this regard, may be assisted by the evidence of an expert knowledgeable in the field. Such expert evidence may relate to matters such as the state of the art at the date of the patent, the meaning of technical terms and the working of the invention. When construing a patent, the claims are to be read in the context of the whole patent including the specifications and drawings. Overly technical interpretations should not defeat a patent claim. The patent should be given a purposive construction and be read with a mind willing to understand."


"I do not think that the evidence of the inventor with respect to the meaning of the patent claim carries much weight. Not only does he have a very strong self-interest in the issue, he is also not reading the claim as an objective and first time reader."


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