Federal Court of Appeal hears patent, labour, tax cases this week

Ontario courts denied access to document filing system, plaintiff before Federal Court says

Federal Court of Appeal hears patent, labour, tax cases this week

This week, the Federal Court of Appeal heard appeals initiated by an ex-employee alleging unjust dismissal, a taxpayer, and a patent owner. Before the Federal Court, litigants challenged the Canadian Judicial Council’s integrity and a warden’s actions.

Federal Court of Appeal

On Monday, the appellate court dealt with the appeal in Christine Amer v. Shaw Communications Canada Inc., A-303-20. It arose from the appellant’s unjust dismissal complaint. The appellant asked the appellate court to set aside a Federal Court judge’s order partly allowing the former employer’s judicial review application and to reinstate the decision of an adjudicator under the Canada Labour Code, 1985.

There was no procedural unfairness in the adjudication process and no unreasonableness or incorrectness in the adjudicator’s decision, the appellant said. The application judge wrongly found that the adjudicator could not award severance pay, the appellant added.

On Tuesday, the appellate court tackled the appeal in Satnam Mand v. His Majesty the King, A-1-22. It challenged a Tax Court judge’s allowance of the respondent’s motion to strike the appellant’s notice of appeal. The mail room’s workings were irrelevant to assessing the veracity of an affidavit of a Canada Revenue Agency official, the judge found.

The motion judge disadvantaged taxpayers by expecting them to explain how the agency’s officials handled mail in the mail room where the objections were processed, the appellant argued. It was the agency that had knowledge of this process, the appellant said. The motion judge breached a principle of natural justice, procedural justice, or other required procedure, the appellant said.

On Wednesday, the appellate court heard the related appeals in Deeproot Green Infrastructure, LLC et al v. Greenblue Urban North America Inc, A-116-22 and Greenblue Urban North America Inc.v. Deeproot Green Infrastructure, LLC et al, A-181-21. These appeals involved two patents owned by Deeproot Green Infrastructure, LLC, described as a system for managing tree roots and storm water runoff in urban areas.

Deeproot asked the appellate court to declare Greenblue Urban North America Inc. in contempt for violating the Federal Court’s injunction. The motion judge erred by finding reasonable doubt that Greenblue’s use and sale of the RootSpace structural cell as part of the RootSpace Airform System infringed or induced infringement of the two patents, Deeproot said.

On the other hand, Greenblue asked the appellate court to set aside the Federal Court’s decision stopping it from supplying certain RootSpace products in Canada. The appellate court should declare Deeproot’s impugned claims invalid, Greenblue said.

The judge adopted a wrong approach to the claim construction of the two patents and applied a wrong claim construction, Greenblue argued. The judge apparently confused the RootSpace system, which was the impugned device, and the RootCell system, which was the prior art device, Greenblue added.

Federal Court

On Monday, the court dealt with the case of Rural Municipality of Dundurn No. 314 v. Attorney General of Canada, T-2131-18. The plaintiff’s proposed class action claimed that the defendant violated the would-be class members’ access across Canadian Forces Detachment Dundurn in Saskatchewan pursuant to a contractual arrangement between the parties.

The plaintiff, seeking damages, alleged that the defendant breached its contractual obligation and duty of care, engaged in expropriation without compensation, interfered with economic interests, and gave rise to a public nuisance.

On Tuesday, the court addressed the case of Daryle William Haug v. Attorney General of Canada, T-735-19. The applicant asked for mandamus to compel the warden of Dorchester Penitentiary to ensure that correctional officers would process their administrative duties in a timely and competent way. The warden allegedly failed to ensure that officers assigned to particular inmates provided proficient and consistent services.

Also on Tuesday, the court tackled the case of Bernard Fiederer v. Marc Giroux, Canadian Judicial Council, T-1548-22. The plaintiff made claims challenging the integrity of the Canadian Judicial Council, which supposedly reflected upon those involved in the justice system. Marc Giroux, federal judicial affairs commissioner, allegedly refused to investigate seven federal judges and later Quebec Chief Justice Manon Savard.

On Wednesday, the court heard the case of Emma Elizabeth Philbert v. His Majesty the King, T-98-23. The plaintiff claimed an infringement of her rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including her s. 15 rights to equality and her s. 7 rights to life, liberty, and security. She asked for damages.

The registrar, officers, and functionaries of the offices of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal allegedly denied the plaintiff access to the courts by unlawfully and wrongfully removing her from the computer document filing system.

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