Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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Ownership of Photograph by Employee

While our last post dealt with the creation of photographs and other works of authorship by primates, robots and divine beings, this story is a little more grounded in facts that you might see in the average work...more

9/19/2014 - Copyright Employee Rights Photographs

Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection

I know this story crested a few weeks ago, but who can resist it? A famous 1998 Molson Canadian ad posed a Canadian version of the infinite monkey theorem. The cheeky ad, showing a seemingly endless array of monkeys on...more

9/11/2014 - Copyright Photographs The Copyright Act Wikimedia

Confidentiality & Sealing Orders in Software Disputes

Two software companies wanted to integrate their software products. The relationship soured and one of the parties - McHenry - purported to terminate the Software Licensing and Development Agreement and then launched a...more

8/29/2014 - Arbitration Breach of Contract Canada Confidential Information Copyright Copyright Infringement License Agreements Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Sealed Records Software

When Milk is Not Milk: Dairy Farmers of Canada v. Cytosport, Inc.

You can’t get a trade-mark registration for a word that will deceive consumers. Put into legalese, section 12 of the Canadian Trade-marks Act says a trade-mark is not registrable if it is either “clearly descriptive or...more

8/25/2014 - Canada Food Labeling Food Manufacturers Trademarks

Online Terms - What Works, What Doesn’t

The online fine print - those terms and conditions that you agree to when you buy something online - it really does matter where those terms are placed in the checkout process. A recent US case illustrates this point. In...more

8/22/2014 - Internet Retailers Online Payments Retailers Terms and Conditions Terms of Service

Copyright Litigation and the Risk of Double Costs

An American photojournalist, Ms. Leuthold, was on the scene in New York City on September 11, 2001. She licensed a number of still photographs to the CBC for use in a documentary about the 9/11 attacks. The photos were...more

7/8/2014 - Copyright Copyright Infringement FCA Photographs The Copyright Act

Court Orders Google to Remove Site from Worldwide Search Results

In a recent decision by the British Columbia courts (Equustek Solutions Inc. v Jack , 2014 BCSC 1063), Google has been ordered to de-index a website selling goods that were the subject of intellectual property (IP)...more

7/3/2014 - Canada Google Manufacturers Misappropriation Search Engines Takedown Notices Trade Secrets Websites

An American Attorney in Canada (Part 2: Anti-Spam)

If you are an American attorney with US clients doing business in Canada, then you should be aware of a few things, like our lack of imaginative legislative acronyms, such as the CAN-SPAM Act (from Controlling the Assault of...more

6/24/2014 - CAN-SPAM Act Canada CASL

Supreme Court of Canada on Internet Privacy

The Supreme Court puts it mildly in its opening line: “The Internet raises a host of new and challenging questions about privacy.” One of those questions is whether an IP address can be considered personal information....more

6/20/2014 - Canada Internet Privacy Privacy Laws

The Transitional Period & Implied Consent Under CASL

If the term “CASL compliance” is giving you a nervous twitch, you’re not alone. Many small and medium-sized businesses in Canada are scrambling to prepare for Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), whose official title says it all -...more

6/17/2014 - Canada CASL Commercial Electronic Messages Implied Consent

An American Attorney in Canada (Part 1: Copyright)

Okay, so maybe it’s neither as romantic as Gershwin’s “An American in Paris“, nor as historical as Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” but many US lawyers do find themselves facing legal issues in...more

6/11/2014 - Canada Copyright DMCA

Intellectual Asset Management Best Practices – Part 1

Does your organization have “intellectual assets”? Regardless of what your organization does – whether it is a service-based business, or in the manufacturing sector, whether it is driven by cloud-based software or...more

6/9/2014 - Asset Management Audits Business Assets Copyrights Patents Trademarks Training

Innovation in Canada

A recent survey of the top patent producing corporations in Canada shows a few interesting trends: - Despite its fall from grace over the past 4 or 5 years, BlackBerry remains among the top innovators in the country....more

5/30/2014 - Blackberry Canada Innovation Oil & Gas Technology

Industrial Design as a Competitive Tool

Industrial design law in Canada protects the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which are applied to a product. Functional elements are not protected. ...more

5/22/2014 - Canada Industrial Design

Update on Anti-Patent-Troll Laws

Yesterday draft “anti-patent-troll” legislation was put forward in Washington. This is part of a ground swell of opposition to illegitimate patent demand letters from so-called patent assertion entities (PAEs), or “patent...more

5/19/2014 - FTC Patent Infringement Patent Trolls Patents Proposed Legislation

API Copyright Update: Oracle wins this round

The basic question “are APIs eligible for copyright protection?” has consumed much analysis (and legal fees) during the lawsuit between Oracle and Google, which started in 2010. The basic premise of Oracle’s complaint...more

5/14/2014 - Android APIs Appeals Copyright Copyright Infringement Oracle v Google

The Advisor, Winter 2014 - Franchise Law Series: Part One

A “Pet Valu” franchisee in Ontario claimed that sales were declining, so the owner tried to escape her franchise agreement. After termination of the agreement, her husband established a competing “Pet Stuff” business nearby....more

2/28/2014 - Canada Franchise Agreements Franchises Franchisors I Injunctions Restrictive Covenants

Keeping Secrets: Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Agreements

If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, you have probably encountered non-disclosure agreements or agreements with a similar title: confidentiality agreements, CAs, NDAs or confidential disclosure agreements. These...more

10/18/2013 - Canada Confidentiality Agreements Non-Disclosure Agreement Trade Secrets

Software Licenses and Indemnities: What Obligations Are You Taking On?

License agreements often contain indemnities. An indemnity is a contractual obligation to step in and reimburse some financial obligation such as a liability, loss, or damage. In essence, the party giving the indemnity will...more

6/5/2013 - Boilerplate Language Indemnification Indemnification Clauses Infringement Licenses Patents Software

Protection By Design: Industrial Design Law In Canada

Bodum – a maker of popular coffee-press and glass products – wanted to protect their design for a double-walled drinking glass in a competitive marketplace. Apple wanted to protect the design of their popular handsets like...more

3/6/2013 - Design Patent Industrial Design Infringement Prior Art Registration

Trade-Mark Rights: Across the Border & on the Web

Here are three concepts that are not new: trade-marks, borders and the internet. But the courts are still trying to work out how to handle the three when they collide, as they did in the case of HomeAway.com, Inc. v....more

3/4/2013 - Cross-Border HomeAway.com v Hrdlicka Trademarks VRBO.com

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