Archive for the ‘intellectual property’ category

IP and the digital economy in the Federal Budget

February 11th, 2014

The Minister of Finance tabled the Government of Canada’s budget earlier today. Titled, The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities, the budget contained a few proposed plans related to intellectual property and the digital economy.

The Economic Action Plan proposes to modernize Canada’s intellectual property framework “to better align it with international practices.” These plans which had previoulsy been announced were described as follows:

Canada’s existing framework for protecting intellectual property is not aligned with international practices, creating unnecessary costs for our innovative businesses. Harmonizing Canada’s intellectual property regime with international norms will help Canada’s innovative businesses access international markets, lower costs and draw foreign investment to Canada by reducing the regulatory burden and red tape faced by businesses.

Intellectual property education: are Canadian law schools doing enough to support innovation?

November 26th, 2013

Innovation is a major driver of economic growth. It is also central to the competitiveness of the Canadian economy. It is an engine that creates challenging and well paying jobs. The protection of intellectual property is an important element in promoting innovation and in supporting markets in the trade and dissemination of innovative and creative products and services.[1] Intellectual property is now a crucial asset, the ownership of which has become pivotal to corporations.  In some sectors their ultimate value is their IP.[2] Intellectual property lawyers can play an important role in enabling the acquisition, protection, and exploitation of intellectual property rights. Law schools can play an important role in training lawyers to provide these important services.  Are Canadian law schools meeting these innovation challenges?

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2012-2013)

June 27th, 2013

Earlier today, I gave my annual presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group on developments in Computer, Internet, and e-commerce Law. The slides cover the period from my last presentation in June 2012, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012).

The cases summarized in the slides below canvass developments in a number of countries and include cases from Canada, United States, UK, Ireland, Australia, and Israel.

CANADA

1004964 Ontario Inc. v. Aviya Technologies Inc., 2013 ONSC 51

A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46

Acanac Inc. v. M.N.R., 2013 TCC 163

Blizzard v. Simpson, 2012 ONSC 4312

Homeaway.com Decision Threatens to Re-write Trade-mark Law in Canada (But Is it for the Better?)

December 14th, 2012

In a case that could have major ramifications for trade-marks law in Canada, Justice Hughes of the Federal Court has concluded that, when a trade-mark appears on a computer screen website in Canada, regardless where the information may have originated from or be stored, constitutes for Trade-Marks Act purposes, use and advertising in Canada.

This strong conclusion comes from Homeaway.com, Inc. v. Martin Hrdlicka, 2012 FC 1467, a decision released December 12, 2012. In this case, the Applicant sought to expunge a trade-mark registered in 2010 by the Respondent Hrdlicka. On the Application, the Respondent represented himself.

Upcoming IP/IT events you won’t want to miss

October 3rd, 2012

It’s the fall. After a long hot summer, you may be ready to attend a conference, roundtable, or panel discussion to learn about important developments or issues in IT/IP law. Here are few I am participating in that you may want to attend.

October 3-4, The 2012 Quorum Club. The Quorum Club brings together senior corporate counsel and senior private law firm practitioners in a setting where they can share ideas, opinions and network in a way that few gatherings in Canada offer. I am participating in the 2012 QC Roundtable: IP Playbook for the GC.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012)

June 21st, 2012

Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011).

The slides include a summary of the following cases:

Kraft Real Estate Investments, LLC v Homeway.com, Inc. 2012 WL 220271 (D.S.Car. Jan 24, 2012)

Swift v. Zynga Game Network, Inc., 805 F.Supp.2d 904, (N.D.Cal., 2011)

Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 183896 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)

Grosvenor v. Qwest Corp., 2012 WL 602655 (D.Colo., 2012) 

Redefining copyright in the digital era

January 29th, 2012

Here is a copy of the article with the above title published in the January  20, 2012 edition of The Lawyers Weekly.

In early December, copyright lawyers from across the country descended on the Supreme Court to participate in a cluster of cases that may redefine the scope of copyright in the digital era.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011)

June 15th, 2011

Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring.

The slides include a summary of the following cases and statutory materials:

Privacy:

Cite Cards Canada Inc. v. Pleasance, 2011 ONCA 3

Leon’s Furniture Limited v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2011 ABCA 94

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2010 FC 736

Nammo v. TransUnion of Canada Inc., 2010 FC 1284

G8 declaration: Internet and IP critical to innovation

May 30th, 2011

The leaders of the G8 concluded their meetings last week with a renewed commitment to freedom and democracy. They released a declaration dealing with a variety of topics including the importance of the Internet and intellectual property as catalysts to innovation. The declaration also highlights the challenges of maintaining the privacy and security of networks and network communications.

The declaration on the Internet made the link between the Internet and innovation as follows:

For business, the Internet has become an essential and irreplaceable tool for the conduct of commerce and development of relations with consumers. The Internet is a driver of innovation, improves efficiency, and thus contributes to growth and employment…

Canada back on the USTR 2011 Special 301 Watch List

May 2nd, 2011

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) just published its 2011 Special 301 Report. The 2011 Special 301 review process examined IPR protection and enforcement in 77 of the US’s trading partners. The Special 301 Report is a critical mechanism for the U.S. government to ensure that its trading partners provide adequate and effective protection of IP for America’s creators and innovators.

Following extensive research and analysis, the USTR again listed Canada on its Priority Watch List along with Algeria, Argentina, Canada, China, India, Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, and Venezuela.