Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights: the USPTO DABUS decisionArtificial intelligence and intellectual property rights: the USPTO DABUS decision



Is an invention autonomously generated by artificial intelligence patentable? This is a question that is being studied including by the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) which launched an investigation into issues associated with patenting artificial intelligence inventions. In the meantime, the USPTO just released a decision denying the application for a such a patent holding that under the U.S. patent law, 35 USC §§ 1 et seq. an inventor must be a natural person.

The decision was based on an application listing a single inventor with the given name “[DABUS]” and the family name “(Invention generated by artificial intelligence).”…

COVID-19 and Canada’s anti-spam law CASLCOVID-19 and Canada’s anti-spam law CASL



Since going into social isolation and working from home I have been inundated by unsolicited emails. Many of these are from businesses I have never heard of or dealt with before. They offer goods or services that directly or indirectly relate to the COVID19 pandemic – how to get stuff delivered to your house, how to order that, how to entertain your kids, how to get virtual care, how to stay connected…. Many of these messages come from organizations trying to survive during this crisis, businesses announcing an adapted online or virtual business model, organizations truly trying to be helpful, or attempting to be relevant and discovered.…

COVID-19 and privacy: artificial intelligence and contact tracing in combatting the pandemicCOVID-19 and privacy: artificial intelligence and contact tracing in combatting the pandemic



COVID-19 is having a debilitating effect on people’s health and their economic well-being. People are being forced by social distancing/isolating edicts and provincial emergency closure orders to stay home. As we slowly look like we may be emerging from the first wave of this health and economic emergency, people are rightly asking how we can gradually start to re-open the economy and resume “semblances of normalcy” without triggering substantial negative health rebounds or violating privacy norms or rights.

Governments, medical practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and others have been feverishly pursuing solutions to this challenge.…

COVID-19 and electronic contractingCOVID-19 and electronic contracting



For years, organizations have moved their businesses digital. To consummate transactions and to otherwise engage in contractual activities, organizations have increasingly relied on electronic means of contracting using everything from webwraps and clickwraps (and hybrid variations of these forms of agreements) and electronic documents executed using electronic signatures.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 there are increasing pressures to use electronic methods to effect legal activities including to enter into agreements traditionally done using paper and for other things such as signing and commissioning affidavits for use in courts.…

OPC consultation on artificial intelligence: my submission to the consultationOPC consultation on artificial intelligence: my submission to the consultation



Here is my submission to the OPC consultation.

______________________________________________

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input into the OPC’s consultation on artificial intelligence (AI) as it relates specifically to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

By way of introduction, I am a senior technology lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault. As part of my privacy practice, I regularly advise clients on privacy issues. I also teach privacy at Osgoode Hall Law School as part of an intellectual property law course.…

2020 Holiday reading: Blockchain, AI and the Four Digital Titans2020 Holiday reading: Blockchain, AI and the Four Digital Titans



Happy new year everyone. I hope you all had a good vacation with some spare reading time. Over the holidays, I had the pleasure to listen to four audiobooks. It is pretty clear that the next decade is going to be another exciting ride for us tech and IP lawyers.

The first audiobook was Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code, written by Primavera De Filippi and Aaron Wright. A lot has been written about blockchain. In this book, the authors not only look at developments, past, present and future, but also provide an ambitious, scholarly, and fact rich analysis of the legal challenges associated with blockchain.…

Privacy Law Reform: the OPC 2018-2019 Annual ReportPrivacy Law Reform: the OPC 2018-2019 Annual Report



The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada just published the 2018-2019 Annual Report to Parliament on the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Unlike other reports, this report’s focus was on privacy law reform. In fact, it was so titled as Privacy Law Reform – A Pathway to Respecting Rights and Restoring Trust in Government and the Digital Economy.

The Annual Report is a must read for everyone concerned about privacy including members of the general public and organizations whose privacy practices and compliance burdens would be significantly affected if some or all of the proposals were accepted and enacted into law.…

Site blocking orders come to Canada: GoldTV.bizSite blocking orders come to Canada: GoldTV.biz



In an important decision released Friday, the Federal Court of Canada issued the first Canadian site blocking order against sites that predominantly facilitate copyright infringement. The order made by Justice Gleeson, in a carefully reasoned decision in Bell Media Inc. et al v GOLDTV.BIZ 2019 FC 1432, ordered certain ISPs in Canada to block access to pirate subscription streaming sites (GoldTV.biz and GoldTV.ca) that were infringing the copyrights of the plaintiffs Bell Media Inc., Groupe TVA Inc, and Rogers media Inc.…

Hard lessons in dataset licensing to create commercial products: 77m v Ordnance SurveyHard lessons in dataset licensing to create commercial products: 77m v Ordnance Survey



If you are interested in database licensing, the intrigue of how complex geo-spatial based services are developed, electronic mapping and polygons, the legality of scraping, how online terms governing databases are construed, and database rights, then the recent UK decision in 77m Ltd v Ordnance Survey Ltd [2019] EWHC 3007 (Ch) (08 November 2019) is for you.

The dispute in the case was between a start-up company 77m and Ordnance Survey (OS), the national mapping agency of Great Britain. 77m created a dataset called Matrix consisting of an up-to-date, detailed and accurate list of the geospatial coordinates of all the residential and non-residential addresses in Great Britain containing 28 million records.…

When copyright in a work transfers to the Crown: Keatley v TeranetWhen copyright in a work transfers to the Crown: Keatley v Teranet



When does copyright transfer to the Crown under the Copyright Act? The Supreme Court clarified this in a landmark ruling released earlier today in Keatley Surveying Ltd. v. Teranet Inc., 2019 SCC 43, authoritatively interpreting Section 12 of the Act.

The Court did so in delivering two sets of reasons, the majority written by Justice Abella  (Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Martin JJ. concurring) and by Justices Côté and Brown JJ. (Wagner C.J. concurring). All seven Judges agreed that the decision of the Court of Appeal (2017 ONCA 748) which sided with Teranet should be affirmed.…