I recently had the privilege of speaking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the Fordham 24th Annual Intellectual Property Law and Policy Conference, a stellar international IP conference. The other speakers on my panel were Probir Mehta (lead U.S. negotiator of the IP portion of the TPP), Pedro Velasco Martins (lead EU negotiator of the IP portion of the TTIP), and Daren Tang (lead Singapore negotiator of the IP portion of the TPP). The title of the panel was “Examination of TPP & TTIP”. My talk focused on how the IP provisions of the TPP are being inaccurately depicted to the public.
Last week I received several unsolicited emails including the one shown below asking for a donation to support Republican party leader hopeful John Kasich. The e-mail was sent without the remotest chance of there being an express or implied consent and without compliance with the prescribed information requirements of Canada’s much vilified anti-spam law, CASL.
There is no doubt that Canadians have an important interest in who wins the US Presidential party nominations. Given the importance of the stakes, Canadian residents eligible to make a donation might have welcomed receiving the solicitation.
The C.D. Howe Institute released a report earlier today, National Priorities 2016: At the Global Crossroads: Canada’s Trade Priorities for 2016, authored by Daniel Schwanen. One of the key recommendations is to boost market access for Canadian producers by ratifying the CETA and the TPP.
The report also touches briefly on two key intellectual property issues associated with the treaties, pharmaceutical patents and copyright. On these issues, the report stated the following:
Patents seek to encourage innovation by providing firms or individuals a monopoly over new and useful products for a limited period of time before competitors are allowed to offer their own versions.
This is a guest post by Peter Grant. Peter S. Grant is Counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He is an expert on communications and cultural policy, and the co-author of Blockbusters and Trade Wars: Popular Culture in a Globalized World (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004), a book focused on the interrelationship of trade law with cultural policy.
There is an inherent conflict between free trade agreements and cultural policy. Unless measures that support local culture are exempted from these agreements, there is a risk that the principle of “national treatment” (the free trade rule that foreign products must be given the same treatment as local products) might override those measures.
I was interviewed by Bloomberg TV yesterday on the topic of fears expressed over the intellectual property portions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. My interview on the TPP can be accessed below. For more detail, you can see my ope-ed in the Financial Post Why Canada has nothing to fear over TPP and Intellectual Property and my more detailed analysis of the IP and e-commerce provisions here.
I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday at the Law Society of Upper Canada 20th Annual IP Law: The Year in Review. I spoke on the topic of Copyright and Technological Neutrality: CBC v SODRAC. My slides are shown below and can be downloaded here.
Just before the holidays last year, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision in Red Label Vacations Inc v 411 Travel Buys Limited 2015 FCA 290. It affirmed the lower court decision of Justice Manson which had held that, on the facts of the case, the use of metatags on web pages did not constitute passing-off, trade-mark infringement or depreciation of goodwill. It did so primarily based on findings of fact by the trial judge which the court found were not subject to any palpable and overriding error.
This is a copy of my op-ed published in the Financial Post. As the article notes, the views expressed are further elaborated on my blog. See, TPP and trade secrets: a wonderful idea and TPP, copyright, e-commerce and digital policy: a reply to Michael Geist.
The intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been misunderstood and attacked by several commentators, and the public is understandably confused. Much has been misinterpreted by those who oppose the TPP, or at least its intellectual property (IP) provisions.
The intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is certainly misunderstood. An example is Article 18.78 which sets minimum standards for trade secret protection among TPP partners. Prof. Dan Breznitz, in a recent Op-Ed in the Globe and Mail, Trans-Pacific Partnership is a wonderful idea – for China, claims it will “seriously restrict entrepreneurship, diminish competition and limit the basic economic freedom of individuals”. He says that, as a result, the TPP is “The delight of Beijing”.