Case Comment

Smith Incubator Co. v.

citation(s): (1937) S.C.R. 251 (S.C.C.) per Duff C.

copyright 1997-2007 Donald M. Cameron




The Decision

At p. 255:

"It is now settled law that, for the purpose of ascertaining the meaning of the claims, the language in which they are expressed must be read in light of the specification as a whole, but it is by the effect of the language employed in the claims themselves, interpreted with such aid as may properly be derived from the other parts of the specification, that the scope of the monopoly is to be determined."

At p. 255:

"It is to these claims that the public are entitled to look in order to ascertain the limits of the monopoly granted to the patentee, and unless these limits are prescribed distinctly in the claims themselves, without unnecessary ambiguity, vagueness or obscurity, having regard to the nature of the subject-matter, the patentee can found no title to relief upon his patent in respect of any alleged infringement; nor can he, assuming that the claims are not objectionable on the ground of ambiguity, vagueness or obscurity, obtain any relief in respect of any act which does not infringe the monopoly marked out by the claims when properly read."


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