Modernisation de la définition d’erreur clérical sous l’article 8 – plus (+) de recours possibles…?

Dans la cause Procter & Gamble Company v. Commissioner of Patents, 2006 FC 976, (August 15, 2006), le Juge Barnes s’est attardé sur l’interprétation de l’article 8 de la Loi sur les brevets. Selon cette article:

8. Un document en dépôt au Bureau des brevets n’est pas invalide en raison d’erreurs d’écriture; elles peuvent être corrigées sous l’autorité du commissaire.

Une des questions en litige était à savoir si le Commissaire des brevets avait le pouvoir discrétionnaire de corriger une entrée dans la Gazette du Bureau des brevets.

À la lumière de son jugement, il semble que le Juge Barnes est d’avis que oui et même que l’article 8 pourrait être utilisé pour corriger plus que de simples “erreurs d’écritures“.

Le Juge Barnes:

” [31] Having regard to my conclusion that the Didrocal Patent was issued on June 18, 1996, it would be somewhat incongruous if the Commissioner did not have the discretionary authority under section 8 of the Act to amend the Patent Office records accordingly.

[32] In an age of computer technology, the suggestion that the entry of incorrect data is not a “clerical error” because it does not arise from the “mechanical process of writing or transcribing” is anachronistic and no longer sufficient. What occurred here was no less a clerical error than the slip of a pen or the mis-stroke of a typewriter key. Here the printing of the Didrocal Patent Certificate with an incorrect date of issuance was clearly a clerical error.

[33] The Commissioner must be particularly cautious in handling requests under section 8 for correction of documents filed by patentees and other outside parties. That was the situation reviewed by this Court in Bayer Aktiengesellschaft v. Commissioner of Patents (1980) 53 C.P.R. (2d) 70 (F.C.T.D.) where a critical omission had been made by a patentee in its Canadian patent application, and which was found not to be a clerical error of the type that could be remedied under section 8 of the Patent Act. Although in that decision Justice Patrick Mahoney referred to this type of clerical error as one involving a transcription, copying or writing mistake made by a clerk or typist, there is no reason to think that the language of section 8 ought not to be read in light of current business and technological realities.

[34] The correction of obvious recording errors made within the Patent Office would not normally engage the kinds of concerns reflected in the Bayer decison, above, and, in such situations, section 8 relief should ordinarily be available to the Commissioner. That relief is, however, discretionary and the Commissioner cannot be required to do any more than to apply his section 8 authority to the facts before him.”

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