Leslie Chong is a JD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Following an appeal from Phelan J.’s decision to allow Amazon’s ‘one-click’ business method patent, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. and the Canadian Bankers Association have been granted leave to intervene through written submissions and brief oral arguments.
The Federal Court’s landmark decision has been wrought with controversy and debate, and this application to intervene has demonstrated the scope of impact that such a decision will have on business practices in Canada.
The Intervenors argued that the “net result of the decision to issue on appeal could be to allow the patenting of ideas or mental steps”, which would directly impact the methods that they use to calculate risk, to manage their financial or investment portfolios, as well as the models they use for conducting their online banking. Amazon.com had opposed this intervention, arguing that the Intervenors would only unnecessarily broaden the issues before the Court to include ‘policy’ implications flowing from the patentability of business methods.
The Federal Court of Appeal granted the Intervenors status after considering the six factors outlined in Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), holding that the Intervenors had a direct interest in the outcome of this case. The Attorney General’s appeal, which now includes the Intervenors' arguments, is scheduled to take place on June 21, 2011 in Toronto.