Law Society gives lawyers social media guidance

January 9th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Law Society representing solicitors in England and Wales issued a practice note for the use of social media by lawyers. It covers considerable ground including ethical obligations and the application of Principles in the SRA Handbook to the use of social media. Some of the highlights include the following;

You must act with integrity

Personal integrity is central to your role as the client’s trusted advisor and should characterise all your professional dealings with clients, the court, other lawyers and the public.

You must not allow your independence to be compromised

Will it be illegal to recommend a dentist under Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL)?

January 3rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Over the holidays I got an email from one of my relatives visiting Toronto. She asked me to recommend a dental surgeon for an unexpected tooth extraction. She also asked me to refer her to other dentists to get additional recommendations. I sent her an email with a recommendation to get treatment from a dental surgeon who I encouraged her to see and also provided the name of a family dentist who could make other recommendations. My email included a link to a website of the clinic operated by the dental surgeon. My wife sent a similar email when I told her my relative was looking for a dentist. Later that day I started wondering whether responding to this type of inquiry would be legal or illegal under Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL), once it is proclaimed into force.

France Animation v Robinson – a case comment

January 2nd, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I just finished reading the fascinating reasons delivered by the Quebec Court of Appeal in the France Animation v Robinson, 2011 QCCA 1361 case. The main issue in the appeal was whether sketches and characters of the proposed TV series Robinson curiosity were infringed by the series Robinson sucro. The trial judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment, in part.

Canadian Patent Office allows Amazon.com’s “one-click” patent

December 31st, 2011 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Last month the Federal Court of Appeal issued its reasons in the Amazon.com “one-click” patent case. Since the Court of Appeal directed the Commissioner to revisit Amazon.com’s application, it was not clear whether or not the patent was eligible subject matter.[1] The decision of the Court of Appeal left many questions unanswered.

It appears that the Patent Office has now determined that Amazon.com’s patent application,  “Method and System For Placing A Purchase Order Via A Communication Network” (Canadian Patent Application No. 2,246,933), is eligible subject matter. Patent Office records show that following an amendment made on December 22, 2011 a Notice of Allowance was issued on December 23, 2011. The records also show that the Final Fee was paid on December 28, 2011.

Canada is market for TPM trafficking and bittorrent indexing sites says USTR report

December 23rd, 2011 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. In the review, the USTR identified markets that typify the problem of marketplaces that deal in goods and services that infringe on intellectual property rights and help to sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. Canada was listed in several of these markets.

According to the USTR “The scale and popularity of these markets can cause economic harm to U.S. and other IP right holders.  In addition, products sold at these markets may pose possible health and safety risks to consumers.”

DNS blocking and filtering in the EU

December 14th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Crowell & Moring LLP, a law firm with offices in the US, Brussels and the UK released a white paper that describes the legal mechanisms available to copyright holders in the EU to prevent ISP systems from being used for online file sharing. Published by the US based Copyright Alliance, the paper provides a summary of  European laws which have been used to grant injunctive relief to prevent online file sharing including injunctions requiring ISPs to implement DNS blocking. The paper also summarizes the recent ECJ Scarlet case which dealt with the power of EU courts to grant orders requiring ISPs to filter peer to peer traffic over their networks.

Webcasts of the Supreme Court copyright cases now available

December 9th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The webcasts of the five Supreme Court of Canada copyright appeals are now available. The ESA/Bell v SOCAN “communicate to the public” and the SOCAN v Bell fair dealing cases can be viewed here. (They are streams and not downloads and so are communications.) The K-12 Access Copyright and Re:Sound appeals can be viewed here.

UK: “not practical” to adopt US fair use

December 9th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The UK will not adopt US fair use. This was revealed in statements made by Baroness Wilcox, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills and John Alty, Chief Executive and Comptroller General, Intellectual Property Office, in testimony before the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on November 15, 2011.

Here is a extract from the testimony.

Q219 Chair : At the time, there were assertions that companies such as Google would not start up in this country because of the UK copyright law. Do you still hold that theory now and will Government policy reflect that or accommodate Google?

Copyright coming to the Supreme Court of Canada

November 25th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The copyright bar and the Supreme Court are gearing up for two big days of copyright appeals. The five appeals are being heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011.

Earlier today the Court circulated the draft schedule for the arguments. It lists all the parties, the interveners, the lawyers involved, and the order in which the cases are going to be heard. It is going to be a very interesting two days for copyright in Canada.

Jurisdiction in the Internet Age

November 5th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Below are slides used by my colleague Dan Glover in a presentation on Friday at the Canadian Council on International Law’s (CCIL) Annual Conference. His talk was on jurisdiction in the internet age.