Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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Court of Appeal Upholds Injunction Against Google (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc.)

Apparently Google does not appreciate being ordered by a Canadian court to remove worldwide search results. In Update on Injunction Against Google (Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc.) we reviewed a 2014 decision in which...more

6/17/2015 - Appeals Canada Cloud Computing Google Infringement Intellectual Property Protection Misappropriation Popular Search Engines Technology Trade Secrets Trademarks Websites

Competing After Employment (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, Jawbone, a fitness tracking hardware and software maker, sued its arch-rival Fitbit, alleging that Fitbit lured its employees away to obtain access Jawbone’s confidential information and product plans. How...more

6/15/2015 - Breach of Duty Canada Confidential Information Confidentiality Agreements Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract Fiduciary Duty Fitbit Fitness Hiring & Firing Intellectual Property Protection Non-Compete Agreements Non-Solicitation Agreements Restrictive Covenants Software Software Developers

Outsourcing by Canadian Companies after the USA PATRIOT Act

Wondering about outsourcing your data to the U.S.? What follows is an update to one of our most popular posts: Outsourcing by Canadian Companies: Another Look at the USA PATRIOT Act, originally written in January 2013....more

6/15/2015 - Canada Cloud Computing Cloud-Based Services FISA Outsourcing Patriot Act Risk Assessment Risk Mitigation USA Freedom Act

Reverse Engineering Cloud-Based Software

Let’s say you provide web-based software in a SaaS subscription model. What if your reseller or strategic business partner works against you to redesign and reverse engineer your software so they can launch a competing...more

6/5/2015 - Best Practices Cloud-Based Services Confidentiality Agreements Enterprise Software IP License SAAS Software Software Developers Trade Secrets

What, exactly, does industrial design protect?

What, exactly, does industrial design protect? The recent decision Zero Spill Systems Inc. v. Heide, 2015 FCA 115, reviewed this question. In the trial level decision, Zero Spill sued a competitor for infringement of Canadian...more

6/5/2015 - Canada Industrial Design Infringement Patent Infringement Patent Invalidity Patents

Canadian Copyright Term Extensions

As we noted in our earlier post the bill known as Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 was tabled in the House of Commons on May 7, 2015. It passed Second Reading in the House of Commons on May 25th and is now with the House...more

6/5/2015 - Amended Legislation Canada Copyright Pending Legislation The Copyright Act

Apple Watch Design Patent

As we reviewed in our previous post - Industrial Design as a Competitive Tool - the value of strategic industrial design protection (also called a “design patent” in the US) should not be underestimated. The USPTO...more

6/5/2015 - Apple Apple Watch Design Patent Industrial Design USPTO

Patent Licensee’s Standing to Sue for Infringement

Although you might not think so, given the proliferation of litigation, courts are actually very particular about who can bring a lawsuit. In order for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit, it must have ’standing’ or put another...more

6/5/2015 - Contract Negotiations IP License Patent Infringement Patents Standing

Trade Dress Updates: “Beauty” does not cut it

A recent decision of the US Federal Court (see: Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. May 18, 2015) reviewed the jury decision in Apple’s famous infringement lawsuit against Samsung. You may recall that Apple’s 2011...more

6/5/2015 - Apple Apple v Samsung Canada Design Patent Patent Infringement Patents Samsung Trade Dress Utility Patents

Employee Ownership of Patentable Inventions

A startup in the oil-and-gas service sector sought to improve downhole well stimulation technology. After a few years, differences between the three founders culminated in the ouster of Mr. Groves, one of the founders. Mr....more

6/5/2015 - Canada Employment Contract Entrepreneurs Inventors Oil & Gas Patent Ownership Startups

Competing After Employment (Part 1)

A key employee departs. The employer, worried that confidential information has leaked out of the company, scrambles to respond. After a frenzied period of preparation, the employer starts a lawsuit and seeks an injunction...more

4/20/2015 - Canada Confidential Information Employer Liability Issues Former Employee Non-Compete Agreements Non-Solicitation Agreements

Amendments to Canadian Intellectual Property Laws by 2017

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has indicated that the amendments to the Trade-marks Regulations (and in particular the accession to international trademark treaties), the amendments to the Industrial Design...more

4/20/2015

Online Infringement & Norwich Orders: Best Practices

When a copyright owner suspects online infringement, but lacks evidence of the identity of the alleged infringers, it can seek an order to disclose those details. Canadian law is clear that “A court order is required in every...more

4/20/2015 - Canada Copyright Copyright Infringement Disclosure ISPs Norwich Orders

Copyright in Survey Plans

As a follow-up to our earlier post about Copyright in House Plans, an class action case is proceeding in Ontario on the subject of ownership of copyright in survey plans. In the course of their work, land surveyors in Ontario...more

4/20/2015 - Canada Class Action Copyright Surveys

What Happens When a Franchise Agreement Ends, Part Two: Cancellation

In some cases, a franchise relationship ends after many years of business. At the point of termination, the parties must wrestle with a number of issues, including customers, inventory, and (as we reviewed in Part 1) the...more

3/13/2015 - Canada Contract Term Franchise Agreements Franchises

Enforcing Keyboard Patents (BlackBerry v. Typo)

A year ago, BlackBerry sued Typo Products LLC for patent infringement, based on the design of a snap-on keyboard. Typo’s physical keyboard was designed to attach to an iPhone, in order to mimic a BlackBerry-style QWERTY...more

2/6/2015

Open Source Software: The Costs of Non-Compliance

For software vendors, open source software (OSS) should be treated like a compliance issue - in the same way that corporate, securities or environmental compliance is a concern for many companies. The failure to manage...more

2/4/2015 - Canada Chief Compliance Officers License Agreements Open Source Software Popular Software

An American Attorney in Canada (Part 3: Letters of Request in Patent Litigation)

A recent Ontario court decision (Arctic Cat Inc. et al. v. Peter Watson, 2014 ONSC 6874 (CanLII)) dealt with a foreign letter of request, or “letter rogatory” in a cross-border patent infringement case involving the invention...more

1/19/2015 - Letters Rogatory Ontario Patent Infringement Patents Popular Witnesses

Patent Litigation in 2014

A recent report shows interesting trends in US patent litigation: - 5,002 patent infringement cases were filed in the US in 2014, up from 2,641 filed in 2010; - Of those cases filed, the majority (61%) were...more

1/14/2015 - Information Reports Non-Practicing Entities Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patent Trolls Patents

CIPO - EPO PPH

Who can resist an announcement laced with nerdy acronyms? Last week, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) announced the launch of a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot agreement with the European Patent Office...more

1/13/2015 - Canada Canadian Intellectual Property Office European Patent Office Patent Prosecution Highway

Is “One Dollar” Sufficient for a Patent Assignment?

You may have read the recitals or introductory clauses in a license or an assignment agreement. In most cases, these clauses are just skimmed, if they are reviewed at all. In a recent decision of the US Federal Circuit Court...more

1/8/2015 - Canada Consideration IP Assignment Agreements Patents

Not a utility patent, but a patent utility?

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Jay Walker, founder of Priceline.com, has proposed a kind of neutral private-sector utility for the licensing of patents. He argues that “We have spent trillions of dollars...more

1/8/2015 - IP License Patent Royalties Patents Small Business

Copyright in House Plans

A couple, the Ecklunds, approached Oakcraft Homes, a custom home-builder. Based on their discussions, Oakcraft prepared a house plan and gave a copy of the plan to the Ecklunds. The couple later took that plan to a rival home...more

12/24/2014 - Architects Architectural Copyrights Canada Copyright Popular

USPTO Patent Eligibility Guidelines

What is eligible to be patented in the US? This week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released Interim Eligibility Guidance on patent subject matter eligibility. In this document, the USPTO summarizes the...more

12/19/2014 - AMP v Myriad CLS Bank v Alice Corp Guidance Update Mayo v. Prometheus Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Patents USPTO

Copyright Implications of a “Right to be Forgotten”? Or How to Take-Down the Internet Archive.

They say the internet never forgets. From time to time, someone wants to challenge that dictum. In our earlier posts, we discussed the so-called “right to be forgotten” in connection with a Canadian trade-secret...more

12/5/2014 - Canada Misappropriation Right to Be Forgotten Trade Secrets

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