Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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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 Donald Trump Libel Political Candidates

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

“Wow Moments” and Industrial Design Infringement

An inventor had a “wow” moment when he came across a design improvement for cold-weather visors – something suitable for the snowmobile helmet market. The helmet maker brought the improved helmet to market and also pursued...more

6/28/2016 - Canada Industrial Design Patent Infringement Patents

BREXIT and IP Rights for Canadian Business

On June 23th, 2016, UK voters elected to approve a withdrawal from the EU. What does this mean for Canadian business owners who have intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK? The first message for Canadian IP...more

6/27/2016 - Canada Copyright EU European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Popular UK UK Brexit

Trademark Series: Words in a Foreign Language

A word that clearly describes a particular product or service cannot function as a trademark for that product or service. The Trademarks Act phrases this idea in a more formal way: section 12(1)(b) says that a trade-mark is...more

6/21/2016 - Popular Registration Trademark Act Trademarks

Copyright and the Creative Commons License

There are dozens of online photo-sharing platforms. When using such photo-sharing venues, photographers should take care not to make the same mistake as Art Drauglis, who posted a photo to his online account through the...more

6/1/2016 - Copyright Creative Commons License Photographs

Android vs. Java: Copyright Update

By Richard Stobbe In a sprawling,  billion-dollar lawsuit that started in 2010, a jury yesterday returned a verdict in favour of Google, delivering a blow to Oracle.  (For those who have lost the thread of this story, see...more

5/27/2016 - APIs Canada Copyright Infringement Fair Use Google Oracle Oracle v Google

Liability of Cloud-Based Service Provider For Data Breach

Silverpop Systems provides digital marketing services through a cloud-based tool called ‘Engage’. Leading Market Technologies, Inc. (“LMT”) engaged Silverpop through a service agreement and during the course of that agreement...more

5/24/2016 - Breach of Contract Cloud Computing Consequential Damages Data Breach Negligence

Does Copyright Protect Facts?

By Richard Stobbe A documentary film is, by its nature, a work of non-fiction. It expresses a set of facts, arranged and portrayed in a particular way. If a fictional novel is written, based on a documentary film, is...more

5/18/2016 - Books Copyright Copyright Infringement Copyright Litigation Film Industry Popular Publishers Young Lawyers

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