A decision last year of the Federal Court of Appeal stated a clear rule about the relationship between the patent office and patent agents: once a patent issues, most aspects of the patent application process are beyond challenge (Weatherford Canada Ltd. v. Corlac Inc., 2011 FCA 228):
 To be clear, the concept of abandonment in paragraph 73(1)(a) operates during the prosecution of the application for a patent. Its operation is extinguished once the patent issues.
As a result of the decision, parties challenging the validity of an issued Canadian patent may no longer point to . . . [more]