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Unique but Not Distinctive–Colour and Shape Trademark Applications Rejected for Asthma Inhalers

Trademark protection for the shape and colour of pharmaceutical products remains elusive. Even if the appearance of a tablet or inhaler is unique, a trademark registration will be rejected without evidence that physicians,...more

Higher Costs Awards for the Winning Party in Federal Court IP Cases

In Canada, the losing party pays the winner’s litigation costs. For years, costs awards were assessed in accordance with a tariff and were generally inadequate. The Federal Court's recent trend in awarding lump sum costs...more

IP Trials with Less Tribulation: New Federal Court Guidelines Promote Cooperation and Efficiency

This week's most noteworthy development is not a single case—it is a practice direction that will govern how all complex intellectual property cases will be tried. The new Trial Management Guidelines formalize trial...more

An Obligation to Compensate a Patentee for Infringement May Not End When the Patent Expires. For the First Time, the Federal Court...

An infringer's liability to compensate a patent owner may not end when the patent expires. The Federal Court has made a novel award of "springboard" profits, requiring an infringer to account for profits it made even after...more

Just How Predictable Must the Invention Be to Lose Patent Protection? Depends on the Inventive Concept

Only a true invention can be patented; a patent claim to an invention is not valid if the invention was obvious. Assessing obviousness can be thought of as bridging the gap between two cliffs: on one side is the existing...more

Yes—Copying Photographs from the Internet Can Get You into Trouble

Although it happens all the time, reproducing photographs found on the internet for use in business is fraught with risk. Businesses should only copy images where there is clear permission to use them—or face a substantial...more

Why Brand Owners Need to Keep a Paper Trail

Good evidence wins cases. In a trademark opposition, evidence demonstrating how and for how long a mark has been used in commerce (for example, on hangtags, labels, packaging, signage, invoices and online platforms) can be...more

When Will Expert Evidence Be Excluded?

Experts play an important role in IP litigation, but the court will carefully consider whether the proposed expert evidence is necessary to assist the trial judge and has demonstrated an increasing willingness to determine,...more

Federal Court Cracks Down on Intentional Infringement with $1 Million Punitive Damages Awards

It's been a costly week for intentional infringers of intellectual property (IP) rights. In two separate decisions, the Federal Court of Canada has awarded $1 million in punitive damages. These are among the highest punitive...more

Canadian Playground Fight Highlights the Importance of Industrial Design Protection

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada has highlighted the difficulties in asserting trademark and copyright rights related to the appearance of functional products with unique design elements....more

Will the Supreme Court Rein in Evasive Defendants? Equustek v Google Inc

The persistence of a small technology company in British Columbia may expand the options available in Canadian courts to enforce intellectual property rights....more

Brown v. Canada Clarifies Obligations of Patent Applicants

Bennett Jones successfully represented the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), Canada’s preeminent association of intellectual property professionals, as an intervener before the Federal Court of Appeal in Brown...more

A Trend for Retailers to Avoid – Copyright Infringement Lawsuits Over Clothing

Textile Copyright Infringement Claims on the Rise - Katy Perry received a lot of attention for the dress she wore to the Met Ball this year, and not all of it was welcome. A Brooklyn artist thought that the dress was an...more

Use of Competitors’ Trademarks as Google AdWords is not Infringement

The British Columbia Supreme Court has decided that the use of a competitor’s trademarks in Google AdWords does not constitute infringement. In Vancouver Community College v Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc.,...more

Use of Competitor's Trademarks in Metatags does not Constitute Infringement

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada has addressed issues that have received little judicial consideration in Canada, specifically whether use of a competitor's registered trademark in metatags constitutes...more

Increased Use of Summary Disposition in the Federal Court: An Efficient and Cost-Effective Tool to Resolve Trademark Cases

For many years, summary disposition was essentially unavailable in intellectual property cases in the Federal Court of Canada, unless a claim or defence was plainly devoid of merit. For some parties, this presented a...more

12/16/2014  /  Canada , Trademark Litigation , Trademarks

Bill C-31 Proposes Major Changes to Canada's Trade-marks Act

The Federal Government recently introduced Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan Act 2014, No.1. Bill C-31 is an omnibus bill which makes changes to nearly 40 different pieces of legislation. Among these amendments are changes...more

The Supreme Court of Canada VIAGRA Case: 5 Messages Technology Businesses Should Receive

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has provided valuable guidance to patent agents and litigators as to how Canadian patents will be read and enforced (Teva Canada Limited v Pfizer Canada Inc, 2012 SCC...more

11/13/2012
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