Representative Matters

Hand Sanitizer Patent Lawsuit Gets Green Light

Overview

A Master of the Ontario Superior Court has ruled that Francisco Munoz, a chemical engineer whose name appears on the patent as the inventor of foaming alcohol hand sanitizer, can sue Deb Group, the multinational medical supplies company he used to work for.

Munoz is suing Deb Group, claiming he was given forms to sign at work and only later learned he had signed away his rights. The day after Munoz signed the document giving final control of the patent to Deb, he was laid off. Munoz received no significant compensation for his role as inventor.

The lawyers for Deb Group brought a motion that Munoz be required to pay $160,000 as security for costs. Under Ontario law, a plaintiff can be forced to make a deposit to cover the legal costs of a respondent should the ruling go against the plaintiff. Ontario Superior Court Master Linda Abrams ruled in Munoz’s favour, allowing his case to proceed without ordering security for costs.

Aird & Berlis LLP lawyers Ken Clark, Miranda Spence and Patrick Copeland are representing Francisco Munoz in this case.