Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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VCC vs. VCC: Where’s the Confusion?

When we’re talking about trademarks, at which point do we measure whether there is confusion in the mind of the consumer? We reviewed this issue in 2015. In that earlier decision, Vancouver Community College sued a rival...more

2/16/2017 - Canada Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks

Is There Copyright in a Screenshot?

Ever wanted to remove something after it had been swallowed up in the gaping maw of the internet? Then you will relate to this story about an individual’s struggle to have certain content deleted from the self-appointed...more

1/12/2017 - Canada Copyright Popular The Copyright Act

Drone Patents

Last month, Amazon made its first delivery via drone with its Prime Air service. Remember, this is an e-commerce company not a drone manufacturer. Amazon is pushing the limits in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and...more

1/4/2017 - Amazon Drones Patents Unmanned Aircraft Systems

IP Licenses & Bankruptcy (Part 2 – Seismic Data)

What happens to a license for seismic data when the licensee suffers a bankruptcy event? In Part 1, we looked at a case of bankruptcy of the IP owner. However, what about the case where the licensee is bankrupt? In...more

12/19/2016 - Commercial Bankruptcy Copyright IP License Seismic Data

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights (Part 2)

Last week, hearings concluded in the important case of Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will render its judgment in writing, and the current expectation is that it will clarify...more

12/13/2016 - Canada Free Speech Google Misappropriation Popular Supreme Court of Canada Trade Secrets Websites

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights

Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al., the long-running case involving a court’s ability to restrict online search results, and Google’s obligations to restrict search results has finally reached the Supreme Court of...more

12/9/2016 - Canada Free Speech Google Misappropriation Popular Supreme Court of Canada Trade Secrets Trademark Infringement Trademarks Websites

IP Licenses & Bankruptcy Laws (Part 1)

When a company goes through bankruptcy, it’s a process that can up-end all of the company’s contractual relationships. When that bankrupt company is a licensor of intellectual property, then the license agreement can be one...more

12/7/2016 - BIA Commercial Bankruptcy IP License License Agreements Patents Popular

How Long Does it Take to Get a Patent?

Patent advisors are often asked this question. In Canada, CIPO has published the first-ever IP Canada Report, which contains an interesting trove of IP statistics. Among the infographics and pie-charts is a series of bar...more

11/18/2016 - Canada Canadian Intellectual Property Office Patent Applications Patents

“Place of Origin” as a Trademark in Canada

The Canadian trademarks office has released a Practice Notice in order to clarify current practice with respect to applying the descriptiveness analysis to geographical names. In our earlier post on this topic...more

11/14/2016 - Canada Place of Origin Popular Trademarks

Use of a Trademark on Software in Canada

Xylem Water Solutions is the owner of the registered Canadian trademark AQUAVIEW in association with software for water treatment plants and pump stations. Xylem received a Section 45 notice from a trademark lawyer, probably...more

11/9/2016 - Canada Popular Software Trademark Act Trademarks

Dear CASL: When Can I Rely on “Implied Consent”?

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is overly complex and notoriously difficult to interpret – heck, even lawyers start to see double when they read the official title of the law (An Act to promote the efficiency and...more

11/7/2016 - Administrative Monetary Penalties Anti-Spam Legislation Canada CASL Commercial Electronic Messages CRTC Implied Consent

Trader Joe’s vs. Irate Joe’s

In a long-running battle between Trader Joe’s and _Irate Joe’s (formerly Pirate Joe’s, a purveyor of genuine Trader Joe’s products in Vancouver, B.C.), the US Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in. We originally...more

10/27/2016 - Lanham Act Popular Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademarks Unfair Competition

Licensees Beware: Assignment Provisions in a License Agreement

Let’s say a company negotiates a patent license agreement with the patent owner. The agreement includes a clear prohibition against assignment – in other words, for either party to transfer their rights under the agreement,...more

10/19/2016 - IP License License Agreements Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patents

Online Defamation & Libel: The Trump Effect

It’s not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term “titanic” I certainly don’t mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the...more

10/17/2016 - Canada Defamation Libel Political Candidates Trump Administration

Brexit’s Impact on IP Rights

By Richard Stobbe The  UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has released a helpful 12-page summary entitled The Impact of Brexit on Intellectual Property, which discusses a number of IP topics and the...more

10/3/2016 - Copyright EU Member State Patents Referendums UK UK Brexit

Craft Beer Trademarks (Part 2)

In Part 1 we noted the growth in the craft beer industry in Canada and the U.S., and how this has spawned some interesting trademark disputes. The case of Brooklyn Brewery Corp. v. Black Ops Brewing, Inc. (January 7,...more

9/28/2016 - Beer Breweries Trademark Registration Trademarks USPTO

Alberta’s Prospectus Exemption For Start-Up Businesses

Alberta recently brought in a few rule changes which may be of interest: ASC Rule 45-517 Prospectus Exemption for Start-up Businesses (Start-up Business Exemption – PDF) (effective July 19, 2016) is designed to “facilitate...more

9/26/2016 - Alberta Securities Commission Canada Crowdfunding Exemptions Prospectus Startups

Ownership of Copyright in Software

Can an employee claim to own the employer’s software? An “author” of a work is the first owner of copyright. To determine ownership, it’s necessary to determine which contributions will be considered “authorship” for...more

9/26/2016 - Authorship Canada Copyright Copyright Ownership Former Employee Popular Software

Drone Laws and Privacy in Canada

‘Drones’ were first known by the military as unmanned aerial vehicles, and later by the International Civil Aviation Organization as remotely piloted aircraft systems. Drones come in various shapes and sizes and can be...more

9/22/2016 - Airspace Canada Commercial Use Drones Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Fines Invasion of Privacy No-Fly Zones Personal Use Privacy Concerns Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) Transport Canada Trespass Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Craft Beer Trademarks (Part 1)

The number of licensed breweries in Canada has risen 100% over the past five years to over 600. In Alberta and B.C. alone, the number of breweries doubled between 2010 and 2015. Industry trends are shifting, driven...more

9/21/2016 - Beer Breweries Canada Licenses Trademarks

Bozo’s Flippity-Flop and Shooting Stars: A Cautionary Tale About Rights Management

If you’ve ever taken piano lessons then titles like “Bozo’s Flippity-Flop”, “Shooting Stars” and “Little Elves and Pixies” may be familiar. These are among the titles that were drawn into a recent copyright infringement...more

9/19/2016 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Music Publishing The Copyright Act

Protective Order for Source Code

A developer’s source code is considered the secret recipe of the software world – the digital equivalent of the famed Coca-Cola recipe. In Google Inc. v. Mutual, 2016 BCSC 1169 (CanLII), a software developer sought a...more

9/16/2016 - Google Patents Prior Art Software Source Code

A Binding "Clickwrap Agreement" From Paper?

Consumers and businesses routinely enter into binding contracts by means of both paper agreements and online “click-through” agreements. But what happens when you face a “hybrid” contract? Can a binding contract be formed...more

7/12/2016 - Canada Clickwrap Agreements Hybrid Contract Incorporated by Reference Terms and Conditions

Software Vendors: Do Your Employees Own Your Software?

When an employee claims to own his employer’s software, the analysis will turn to whether that employee was an “author” for the purposes of the Copyright Act, and what the employee “contributed” to the software. This, in...more

7/5/2016 - Canada Canadian Intellectual Property Office Software The Copyright Act Vendors

Oh Canada! … in Trademarks

In honour of Canada Day (for our American readers, that’s the equivalent of Independence Day, with the beer, hotdogs and fireworks, but without the summer blockbuster movie to go along with it), here is our venerable national...more

7/2/2016 - Canada Trademarks

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