Ottawa Smart & Biggar lawyers represent winner in biggest IP infringement payout in Canadian history


A federal court has awarded Dow Chemicals a $645-million payout in its intellectual property infringement case with Nova Chemicals, in what the Ottawa-based lawyers representing the firm say is the “largest Canadian patent infringement award in history.”

Smart & Biggar, an Ottawa-based intellectual property and technology firm, acted as co-counsel for Dow’s case against Nova, in which it alleged the latter had infringed on its patents for a polymer substance used in heavy duty bags, wrapping and packaging.

Proceedings began in 2010, and the Federal Court ruled in Dow’s favour. A Federal Court of Appeals would uphold the ruling in 2016, and Nova’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied this past April, though the firm has submitted an appeal of the justice’s initial decision.

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The landmark payout marks a successful string of cases for Smart & Biggar. The firm represented pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Canada in a Supreme Court case earlier this month that served to rebuff the “promise doctrine,” which represented an extra hurdle for patent holders to prove the utility of their inventions in infringement cases.

The local law firm also represented liquor giant Diageo Canada Inc. in a Federal Court case that last month found Admiral Nelson’s rum infringed on the trademark of Diageo PLC’s Captain Morgan.

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