Microsoft wins big in warrant fight to protect privacy of user data

July 15th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Microsoft scored a major victory for the privacy of its cloud computing users yesterday winning a closely watched case against U.S. Government. In Microsoft Corporation v USA (2nd.Cir. Jul. 14, 2016), the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that a warrant issued under Section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act (ECA) did not have extra-territorial effect to require U.S. based Microsoft to access and provide the government with user data stored on servers operated by a subsidiary in Dublin Ireland.

Blocking orders against ISPs to combat trade-mark infringement legal says Court of Appeal in Cartier

July 12th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The English Court of Appeal released an important decision last week confirming that courts’ equitable jurisdiction to grant injunctions where “just and convenient” is broad enough to order internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block web sites from selling trade-mark infringing goods. The Court in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 658 (06 July 2016) confirmed the correctness of the prior comprehensive decision of Arnold J. in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2014] EWHC 3354 (Ch) (17 October 2014).

Why crackdown on pirate set-top boxes is good for innovation: a reply to Michael Geist

June 29th, 2016 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

Last week the Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction restraining ITVBOX.NET, WATCHNSAVE INC, MTLFREETV.COM and others from selling set-top boxes preloaded with software. The software was specifically adapted to enable purchasers to stream and download infringing copies of programs made available by Bell, Bell Expressvu, Rogers, and Videotron on a subscription basis. The devices were advertised and promoted by prominently emphasizing these capabilities and as a way to obtain this content without paying.

The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2015-2016)

June 14th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I gave my annual presentation today to the Toronto computer Lawyers’ Group on “The year in review in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law”. It covered the period from June 2015 to June 2016. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., and other Commonwealth countries.

The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Technology Contracting, Online Agreements, Privacy, Online/Intermediary Liability/Responsibility, Copyright, and Trade-marks and Domain names.

The cases referred to are listed below. My slides can be viewed after the case listing. These and many other cases will be added to my 7 volume book on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (1988-2015).

Reimagining the Copyright Board – my ALAI presentation

May 29th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I had the pleasure of attending ALAI’s symposium this week on The Copyright Board of Canada: Which Way Ahead. I was on a panel titled “Reimagining the Copyright Board” along with Ariel Katz, Howard Knopf, Adriane Porcin, and Judge David Strickler of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board.

My slides from the talk are shown below.

ALAI_2016_-_Reimagining_the_Copyright_Board

Privacy injunctions in the age of the Internet and social media: PJS v News Group Newspapers

May 24th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

You’re a celebrity and had a threesome. Your partner wasn’t one of them. You want the affair to remain private. You go to a court in England where your family resides and get an interim injunction. It prevents the English press from publishing the tawdry details to protect your privacy and the privacy of your family. The affair becomes widely known in other countries including the US, Canada, and Scotland. The English public finds out about it through foreign web sites. They also find the story when using search engines, even when not looking for it. The English public is incited to access websites where details about the encounter can be found by the tabloids which thrive on selling papers filled with salacious details of sexual encounters. The tabloids create a frenzy working up the public claiming they are being censored when their foreign counterparts are not, then move to set aside the injunction.

My appearance before the Trade Committee on the TPP

May 5th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here are my introductory remarks to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade studying the TPP earlier today.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault and am the former chair of its Intellectual Property Law Group.

I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach intellectual property law.

I am here today in my personal capacity and not representing any clients.

New Zealand term extension estimate clearly inaccurate says study

April 27th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Opponents of the TPP such as Michael Geist have claimed that extending the term of copyright by 20 years if Canada joins the TPP could cost Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars. These claims, which are inconsistent with a Canadian study conducted for Industry Canada by Prof. Hollander, have been premised on a 2009 New Zealand estimate which suggested that the costs of a term extension to New Zealand could be (NZ) $55 million per year.

My Senate Committee appearance on the TPP

April 21st, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today I appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade – Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements. The Committee’s focus was on CETA and the TPP.

My initial remarks to the Committee are set out below.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I am here today in my personal capacity and not representing any clients.

The TPP has been heralded as a 21st century trade agreement. The e-commerce and IP chapters reflect this in my view.

Clarifying what the TPP IP provisions mean in Canada for the Innovative Life Sciences Sector

April 20th, 2016 by Declan Hamill No comments »

This is a guest blog post by Declan Hamill, Chief of Staff and Vice President, Legal Affairs, Innovative Medicines Canada.

Innovative Medicines Canada is the association of leading innovative pharmaceutical companies dedicated to improving the health of Canadians through the discovery and development of new medicines and vaccines. Our community represents the men and women working for more than 50 member companies which invest more than $1 billion in research and development (R&D) each year to fuel Canada’s knowledge-based economy, contributing over $3 billion to the Canadian economy.