Federal Court hears firearm regulation, patent cases this week

Prohibited guns are reasonable for use for hunting or sporting purposes, applicants argue

Federal Court hears firearm regulation, patent cases this week

Applicants before the Federal Court brought six related lawsuits on firearm regulations against Canada’s attorney general, the federal justice minister, the registrar of firearms, and the RCMP. The Federal Court also dealt with patent infringement matters this week.

Firearm regulations cases

On Tuesday, the Federal Court heard six suits challenging the Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted, SOR/2020-96.

In May 2020, the Governor in Council (GIC) passed these regulations via Order in Council 2020-298. The regulations prohibited over 100,000 legally-owned firearms, consisting of the following classes:

  • nine kinds of formerly non-restricted or restricted firearms
  • firearms with a bore diameter of at least 20 millimeters
  • firearms capable of producing a muzzle energy of over 10,000 joules

Under s. 117.15(2) of the Criminal Code, the GIC could not prescribe something as a prohibited firearm if, in the GIC’s opinion, it was reasonable for use for hunting or sporting purposes in Canada.

The applicants argued that the prohibited firearms were reasonable for use for hunting or sporting purposes in Canada and posed no disproportionate public safety risk. Order in Council 2020-298 should have no force and effect because it was vague or ultra vires its enabling statute, the Criminal Code, the applicants said.

In Cassandra Parker et al v. Attorney General of Canada et al, T-569-20, the applicants alleged that the regulations went against the right to enjoy property under s. 1(a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights since they amounted to a confiscation of the lawfully-owned property of law-abiding firearms owners.

In Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights et al v. Attorney General of Canada et al, T-577-20, the applicants claimed that the GIC had the sole and nondelegable authority to prohibit or restrict firearms under s. 117.15(1) of the Criminal Code and to form an opinion about the reasonableness of firearms for use for hunting or sporting purposes in Canada.

In Michael John Doherty et al v. Attorney General of Canada et al, T-677-20, the applicants alleged that the regulations violated s. 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This provision covered the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.

In Christine Generoux et al v. His Majesty the King et al, T-735-20, the applicants asserted that the federal government’s acts and omissions relating to the regulations could be considered a type of fraud, could sway public opinion, and could be used to breach the rights of Canadians.

In John Hipwell v. Attorney General of Canada et al, T-581-20, the applicant contended that the regulations infringed s. 7 of the Charter regarding the rights to life, liberty, and security and s. 8 of the Charter relating to the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.

In Jennifer Eichenberg, David Bot, Leonard Walker et al v. Attorney General of Canada, T-905-20, the applicants argued that the federal government failed to comply with its obligation to notify the World Trade Organization before making regulations potentially impacting trade and wrongly claimed that it was exempted from giving notice.

Patent cases

In Molo Design, Ltd. v. Chanel Canada ULC et al, T-379-21, the plaintiff filed a patent infringement lawsuit regarding a “flexible wall system” against defendants Chanel Canada ULC and Chanel Ltd.

Last January, in Molo Design Ltd. v. Chanel Canada ULC, 2023 FC 140, the Federal Court issued a decision enforcing a protective order, which one of the plaintiff’s cofounders breached by revealing confidential information.

The case of Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. v. Apotex Inc., T-997-22 arose from an action filed under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, SOR/93-133.

Last September, in Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. v. Apotex Inc., 2022 FC 1262, the Federal Court issued a protection order allowing the parties to disclose certain confidential information to three in-house legal counsel and two of the receiving party’s employees or corporate officers.

The plaintiff in Gemak Trust v. Jempak Corporation et al, T-1288-18 owned two patents claiming dishwasher and laundry detergent compositions. It brought a patent infringement suit against defendants Jempak Corporation and Jempak GK Inc.

In May 2020, the Federal Court summarily dismissed the plaintiff’s suit. Last August, the Federal Court of Appeal allowed the plaintiff’s appeal, set aside the Federal Court’s judgment, and directed that the matter should proceed to trial.

The appellate court held that the Federal Court made credibility findings that it could not make on a summary judgment motion. These credibility findings impacted the lower court’s appreciation of the evidence on which it based its non-infringement determination, the appellate court said.

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