Unilever plc v. Procter & Gamble Inc., (1993) 60 F.T.R. 241 (TD)

JudgeMuldoon, J.
CourtFederal Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 16, 1990
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1993), 60 F.T.R. 241 (TD)

Unilever plc v. Procter & Gamble (1993), 60 F.T.R. 241 (TD)

MLB headnote and full text

Unilever PLC, and Lever Brothers Limited (plaintiffs) v. Procter & Gamble Inc. and The Procter & Gamble Company (defendants)

(T-2534-85)

Indexed As: Unilever plc v. Procter & Gamble Inc.

Federal Court of Canada

Trial Division

Muldoon, J.

February 9, 1993.

Summary:

The plaintiffs owned a patent for "additives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in a hot-air me­chanically-agitated or tumble-action laundry dryer. The defendants began marketing "Bounce" fabric softener sheets for use in clothes dryers. The plaintiffs sued the defen­dants for patent infringement and sought a declaration that the patent was valid, plus injunctive relief. The defendants counter­claimed, arguing that the patent was invalid.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, held that the patent was valid, allowed the plaintiffs' action and ordered the defend­ants to pay royalties to the plaintiffs.

Estoppel - Topic 386

Estoppel by record (res judicata) - Res judicata as a bar to subsequent proceedings - Issues decided in prior proceedings - Issue estoppel - The plaintiffs owned a patent for "additives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in dryers - The defendants mar­keted a product called "Bounce" fabric softener sheets - The plaintiffs sued for patent infringement - The defendants attacked the validity of the plaintiffs' pat­ent - The plaintiffs argued that the defen­dants were estopped from attacking the patent's validity because of a settlement agreement in United States litigation in­volving the patented method - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, rejected the plaintiffs' estoppel argument - See paragraphs 1 to 27.

Estoppel - Topic 1327

Estoppel in pais (by conduct) - Acquies­cence - Standing by without objection - The plaintiffs owned a patent for "addi­tives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in dryers - In 1977, the defendants began marketing a product called "Bounce" fabric softener sheets - In 1985, the plaintiffs sued for patent infringement - The defen­dants argued that the plaintiffs were estopped from bringing the infringement suit because of acquiescence toward the defendants' activities - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, rejected the defendants' argument - See paragraphs 29 to 39.

Patents of Invention - Topic 1130

The specification and claims - The de­scription - Claims for more than what was invented - The plaintiffs owned a patent for "additives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in dryers - The defendants marketed a prod­uct called "Bounce" fabric softener sheets - The plaintiffs sued for patent infringe­ment - The defendants attacked the valid­ity of the patent, arguing that the claims were broader than the invention described by the inventors - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, rejected the defen­dants' argument - See paragraphs 49 to 52, 118 to 155.

Patents of Invention - Topic 1506

Grounds of invalidity - General - Particu­lar patents - Additives for clothes dryers - The plaintiffs owned a patent for "addi­tives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in dryers - The defendants marketed a prod­uct called "Bounce" fabric softener sheets - The plaintiffs sued for patent infringe­ment - The defendants attacked the valid­ity of the patent on several grounds, in­cluding lack of inventiveness, prior knowl­edge and use, lack of novelty or utility, obviousness, ambiguity and anticipation - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, rejected all grounds of invalidity - See paragraphs 41 to 114.

Patents of Invention - Topic 1589

Grounds of invalidity - Lack of "inventive ingenuity" (obviousness) - Particular pat­ents - Additives for clothes dryers - [See Patents of Invention - Topic 1506 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 1605

Grounds of invalidity - Anticipation - Particular patents - Additives for clothes dryers - [See Patents of Invention - Topic 1506 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 1675

Grounds of invalidity - Lack of novelty - Particular patents - Additives for clothes dryers - [See Patents of Invention - Topic 1506 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 1725

Grounds of invalidity - Lack of utility or operability - Particular patents - Additives for clothes dryers - [See Patents of In­vention - Topic 1506 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 1803

Grounds of invalidity - Prior knowledge and use - Particular patents - Additives for clothes dryers - [See Patents of In­vention - Topic 1506 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 2888

Infringement of patent - Acts constituting an infringement - Of particular patents - Additives for clothes dryers - The plain­tiffs (Lever Brothers Ltd.), owned a patent for "additives for clothes dryers", relating to a method of softening damp clothing in dryers - The defendants (Procter & Gamble), marketed a product called "Bounce" fabric softener sheets - The plaintiffs sued the defendants for patent infringement - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, allowed the action - See paragraphs 156 to 172.

Patents of Invention - Topic 3003

Infringement of patent - Defences - Laches - [See Estoppel - Topic 1327 ].

Patents of Invention - Topic 3105

Infringement of patent - Remedies - Royalties - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, found Procter & Gamble (the defendants) guilty of patent infringe­ment because it marketed "Bounce" fabric softener sheets in Canada, contrary to Lever Brothers Ltd. (the plaintiffs') patent - As a remedy, the court awarded the plaintiffs royalties at a "generous, but non-confiscatory rate", to be determined by reference, on all sales of Canadian made "Bounce" from the time "Bounce" started to be imported, assembled, packaged and sold in and from Canada - A higher roy­alty rate would be instituted from the time of the reasons for judgment until expiry of the patent in 1994 - No permanent injunc­tion was granted - See paragraphs 173 to 188.

Patents of Invention - Topic 3823

Infringement actions - Damages - Rate of royalty - [See Patents of Invention - Topic 3105 ].

Cases Noticed:

Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung v. Rayner & Keeler Ltd. (No. 2), [1966] 2 All E.R. 536 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 16].

Hoystead v. Australian Taxation Commis­sioner, [1926] A.C. 155 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 16].

Angle v. Minister of National Revenue, [1975] 2 S.C.R. 248; 2 N.R. 397; 47 D.L.R.(3d) 544; 74 D.T.C. 6278, refd to. [paras. 16, 17, 20, 22].

R. v. Hartington Middle Quarter (Inhabit­ants) (1855), 4 E. & B. 780, refd to. [para. 16].

Staff Builders International Inc. v. Cohen (1983), 38 C.P.C. 82 (Ont. H.C.), refd to. [para. 16].

Hardy Lumber Co. v. Pickerell River Im­provement Co. (1898), 29 S.C.R. 211, refd to. [para. 16].

Ontario Sugar Co., Re (1911), 24 O.L.R. 332, leave to appeal refused 44 S.C.R. 659, refd to. [para. 16].

D.S.V. Silo-Und Verwaltungsgessellschaft MBH v. Owners of Ship Sennar, [1985] 1 W.L.R. 490; 61 N.R. 149 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 16].

Ship Sennar - see D.S.V. Silo-Und Ver­waltungsgessellschaft MBH v. Owners of Ship Sennar.

Cloutte v. Storey, [1911] 1 Ch. 18 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Goucher v. Clayton (1865), 13 W.R. 336; 34 L.J. 239, refd to. [para. 16].

Thompson v. Moore (1889), 23 L.R. Ir. 599 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Red Deer Mill & Elevator Co., Re (1907), 1 Alta. L.R. 237 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 16].

Travelers' Insurance Co. v. United States (1968), 282 F.Supp. 14, refd to. [para. 16].

Gambocz v. Yelencsics (1972), 468 F.2d 837, refd to. [para. 16].

IAM National Pension Fund v. Industrial Gear Manufacturing (1983), 723 F.2d 944, refd to. [para. 16].

Addressograph-Multigraph Corp. v. Cooper (1946), 156 F.2d 483, refd to. [para. 16].

Crane Boom Lifeguard Co. v. Saf-T-Boom Corp. (1966), 362 F.2d 317, refd to. [para. 16].

Lear Inc. v. Adkins, 395 U.S. 653, refd to. [para. 16].

American Equipment Corp. v. Wikomi Manufacturing Co., 630 F.2d 544, refd to. [para. 16].

Nigro v. Agnew-Surpass Shoe Stores Ltd. (1977), 18 O.R.(2d) 215; 82 D.L.R.(3d) 302 (H.C.), affd. 18 O.R.(2d) 714n; 84 D.L.R.(3d) 256n (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Demeter v. British Pacific Life Insurance Co., Occidental Life Insurance Co. of California and Dominion Life Assurance Co. (1985), 7 O.A.C. 143; 48 O.R.(2d) 266; 13 D.L.R.(4th) 318; 8 C.C.L.I. 286 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Ralston Purina Canada Inc. v. Canada Packers Inc. (1985), 55 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 254; 162 A.P.R. 254 (P.E.I.S.C.), refd to. [para. 16].

Solomon v. Smith and Montreal Trust Co., [1988] 1 W.W.R. 410; 49 Man.R.(2d) 252; 45 D.L.R.(4th) 266; 22 C.P.C.(2d) 12 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Lubrizol Corp. et al. v. Imperial Oil Ltd. et al. (1990), 39 F.T.R. 161; 33 C.P.R.(3d) 1 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 16].

Congoleum Corp. v. Mannington Mills Inc. (1980), 47 C.P.R.(2d) 33 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 16].

Invacare Corp. v. Everest & Jennings Canadian Ltd. (1987), 9 F.T.R. 241; 14 C.P.R.(3d) 156; 12 C.I.P.R. 173 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 31].

Barlow v. Williams (1906), 4 W.L.R. 233; 16 Man. R. 164 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 32].

Fullwood v. Fullwood (1878), 9 Ch. D. 176, refd to. [para. 32].

Electrolux Ltd. v. Electrix Ltd. et al. (1953), 71 R.P.C. [No. 2] 23, refd to. [para. 34].

Cluett Peabody & Co. v. McIntyre Hogg Marsh & Co., [1958] R.P.C. [No. 14] 335, refd to. [para. 34].

Willmott v. Barber (1880), 15 Ch. D. 96, refd to. [para. 34].

Minerals Separation North American Corp. v. Noranda Mines Ltd., [1947] Ex. C.R. 306; 12 C.P.R. 102; 6 Fox Pat. C. 130 (Ex. Ct.), refd to. [para. 34].

Consolboard Inc. v. MacMillan Bloedel (Saskatchewan) Ltd., [1981] 1 S.C.R. 504; 35 N.R. 390; 122 D.L.R.(3d) 203; 56 C.P.R.(2d) 145, refd to. [paras. 48, 122, 124, 132, 150, 182, 183].

TRW Inc. v. Walbar of Canada Inc. (1992), 132 N.R. 161; 39 C.P.R.(3d) 176 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 48].

Pioneer Hi-Bred Ltd. v. Commissioner of Patents, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1623; 97 N.R. 85; 25 C.P.R.(3d) 257; 60 D.L.R.(4th) 223, refd to. [para. 48].

Procter & Gamble Co. v. Beecham Canada Ltd. and Calgon Interamerican Corp. (1982), 40 N.R. 313; 61 C.P.R.(2d) 1 (F.C.A.), refd to. [paras. 64, 121].

DeFrees et al. v. Dominion Auto Acces­sories Ltd. (1963), 44 C.P.R. 74 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 72].

MacKay Specialties Inc. v. Procter & Gamble Co. (1982), 45 N.R. 158; 69 C.P.R.(2d) 90 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 90].

Procter & Gamble Co. v. Bristol-Myers Canada Ltd. (1978), 39 C.P.R.(2d) 145 (F.C.T.D.), affd. 28 N.R. 273; 42 C.P.R.(2d) 33 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 90].

Procter & Gamble Co. v. Beecham Canada Ltd. and Calgon Interamerican Corp. (1981), 56 C.P.R.(2d) 214, affd. (1982), 40 N.R. 313; 61 C.P.R.(2d) 1 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 90].

Ernest Scragg & Sons Ltd. v. Leesona Corp., [1964] Ex. C.R. 649; 26 Fox Pat. C. 1; 45 C.P.R. 1, refd to. [para. 99].

Leitheiser and Timberland Ellicott Ltd. v. Pengo Hydra-Pull of Canada Ltd., [1974] 2 F.C. 954; 6 N.R. 301; 17 C.P.R.(2d) 100 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 121].

Amfac Foods Inc. et al. v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd. (1984), 83 C.P.R.(2d) 59 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 121].

Radio Corp. of America v. Raytheon Manufacturing Co. (1957), 27 C.P.R. 1; 16 Fox Pat. C. 122 (Ex. Ct.), refd to. [para. 121].

Burton Parsons Chemicals Inc. et al. v. Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. et al., [1976] 1 S.C.R. 555; 3 N.R. 553, refd to. [paras. 140-150, 163].

Minerals Separation North American Corp. v. Noranda Mines Ltd. (1952), 69 R.P.C. 81 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 142].

Monsanto Co. v. Commissioner of Patents, [1979] 2 S.C.R. 1108; 28 N.R. 181; 100 D.L.R.(3d) 385; 42 C.P.R.(2d) 277, refd to. [paras. 151, 152, 163].

Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp. v. Biorex Laboratories Ltd., [1970] R.P.C. 157, refd to. [para. 153].

Cabot Corp. and Cabot Canada Ltd. v. 318602 Ontario Ltd. and 502078 Ontario Ltd. (1988), 17 F.T.R. 54; 20 C.P.R.(3d) 132, refd to. [para. 155].

Lovell Manufacturing Co. v. Beatty Bros. Ltd. (1962), 41 C.P.R. 18; 23 Fox Pat. C. 112, refd to. [para. 158].

Omark Industries (1960) Ltd. v. Gouger Chain Saw Co. et al., [1965] 1 Ex. C.R. 457; 27 Fox Pat. C. 1; 45 C.P.R. 169, refd to. [para. 158].

Catnic Components Ltd. v. Hill & Smith Ltd., [1982] R.P.C. 237; [1981] F.S.R. 60 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 163].

Lubrizol Corp. et al. v. Imperial Oil Ltd. et al. (1989), 25 F.T.R. 33; 23 C.I.P.R. 302; 22 C.P.R.(3d) 493 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 179].

Statutes Noticed:

Courts of Justice Act, S.O. 1984, c. 11, sect. 138(1)(b) [para. 184].

Patent Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. P-4, sect. 43 [paras. 109, 113]; sect. 45 [para. 46]; sect. 47 [para. 66].

Patent Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-4, sect. 34 [paras. 50, 122, 131, 132]; sect. 36(1) [para. 75]; sect. 43 [paras. 46]; sect. 53(1), sect. 53(2) [para. 47]; sect. 55(1), sect. 55(2), sect. 57(1), sect. 57(1)(a) [para. 173]; sect. 57(1)(b) [paras. 173, 183, 186]; sect. 60(1), sect. 60(2), sect. 61(1), sect. 65(1), sect. 65(2) [para. 47].

Federal Court Rules, rule 337(2)(b), rule 341A [para. 188].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Fox, Harold G., Canadian Patent Law and Practice (4th Ed. 1969), pp. 353 [paras. 72, 158]; 354 [para. 72]; 479, 480 [para. 7]; 491, 492 [para. 34].

Halsbury's Laws of England (4th Ed. 1976), paras. 1513, 1543 [para. 16].

Oxford Dictionary [para. 2].

Spencer-Bower, G., and A.K. Turner, The Doctrine of Res Judicata (2nd Ed. 1969), p. 9 [para. 16].

Counsel:

Ian Binnie, Mark Freiman and Bill Rich­ardson, for the plaintiff;

Ron Dimock, Don Cameron and Scott Mackendrick, for the defendant.

Solicitors of Record:

McCarthy, Tétrault, Toronto, Ontario, for the plaintiff;

Sim, Hughes and Dimock, Toronto, Ontario, for the defendant.

This matter was heard in Toronto, Ontario, on October 16, 1990, before Muldoon, J., of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, who delivered the following judgment on February 9, 1993.

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    ...2009 ONCA 328 ..................................................................289, 308, 404 Unilever PLC v. Procter & Gamble Inc. (1993), 60 F.T.R. 241, 47 C.P.R. (3d) 479, [1993] F.C.J. No. 117 (T.D.), aff’d (1995), 184 N.R. 378, 61 C.P.R. (3d) 499, [1995] F.C.J. No. 1005 (C.A.) ..............
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    ...THE LAW OF EQUITABLE REMEDIES 784 Unilever PLC v Procter & Gamble Inc (1993), 60 FTR 241, 47 CPR (3d) 479, [1993] FCJ No 117 (TD), af’d (1995), 184 NR 378, 61 CPR (3d) 499, [1995] FCJ No 1005 (CA) ...................324, 631 Unilin Beheer BV v Triforest Inc, 2017 FC 76 ...........................
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6 cases
  • Allied Signal Inc. v. Du Pont Canada Inc. and Complax Corp., (1998) 142 F.T.R. 241 (TD)
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2 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Law of Equitable Remedies. Second Edition
    • June 18, 2013
    ...2009 ONCA 328 ..................................................................289, 308, 404 Unilever PLC v. Procter & Gamble Inc. (1993), 60 F.T.R. 241, 47 C.P.R. (3d) 479, [1993] F.C.J. No. 117 (T.D.), aff’d (1995), 184 N.R. 378, 61 C.P.R. (3d) 499, [1995] F.C.J. No. 1005 (C.A.) ..............
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Law of Equitable Remedies - Third edition
    • November 18, 2023
    ...THE LAW OF EQUITABLE REMEDIES 784 Unilever PLC v Procter & Gamble Inc (1993), 60 FTR 241, 47 CPR (3d) 479, [1993] FCJ No 117 (TD), af’d (1995), 184 NR 378, 61 CPR (3d) 499, [1995] FCJ No 1005 (CA) ...................324, 631 Unilin Beheer BV v Triforest Inc, 2017 FC 76 ...........................

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