Aux Sable wins patent impeachment action against JL Energy at the Federal Court

Date Closed

May 06, 2019

Lead Office

Calgary

On May 6, 2019 the Federal Court issued its decision on the patent impeachment action brought by Aux Sable Liquid Products LP, Aux Sable Liquid Products Inc., and Aux Sable Canada Ltd (collectively "Aux Sable") against JL Energy Transportation Inc (2019 FC 58). JL Energy’s patent generally covered a new method of transmitting natural gas by pipeline in a manner that achieved greater efficiency by exploiting the compressibility of non-ideal gases. JL Energy had brought an earlier action seeking $600,000,000 in damages against Aux Sable and Alliance in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench for alleged breach of contract and patent infringement in relation to their operation of the Alliance Pipeline in Alberta.

The focus of Aux Sable’s action was the invalidation of claims 9-10, which JL Energy alleges in their action that are infringed by Aux Sable. Justice Southcott invalidated claims 9-10 on the basis that they were anticipated, not useful, overly broad, and did not claim patentable subject matter. Justice Southcott would also have invalidated the claims for being obvious but held that such a finding was unnecessary.

Aux Sable is a Canadian company in the energy sector that engages in extracting, processing, fractionating, producing, and supplying natural gas liquids (NGL) in North America.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP is acting for Aux Sable with a team co-led by Timothy Ellam and Steven Tanner that includes Sanjaya Mendis and Kendra Levassuer.

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