Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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Social Media Defamation: the #creeper decision

A dispute between suburban neighbours escalated and spilled over into social media when one of the neighbours vented on Facebook. The Facebook posts suggested that the plaintiff was a “nutter” and a “creep” who deployed a...more

5/3/2016 - Canada Defamation Facebook Online Platforms Popular Punitive Damages Social Media

Trademark Series: Confusion (Part 2)

By Richard Stobbe So much confusion, so little time. The Trade-marks Act teaches us that the use of one trade-mark causes confusion with another trade-mark if the use of both trade-marks in the same area would likely lead to...more

4/27/2016 - Canada Consumer Confusion Trade Marks Act Trademark Infringement Trademark Registration Trademarks U-Haul

Trademark Series: Confusion (Part 1)

A interesting Report on Business article by the founder of a Canadian business is useful as a cautionary tale about brand confusion (see: I was outraged when Sobey’s rebranded its chain with the same name as my company). The...more

4/21/2016 - Canada Corporate Branding Trademark Registration Trademarks

Clickwrap Agreement From a Paper Contract?

Can a binding contract be formed merely with a link to another set of terms? (For background on this topic, check out our earlier post What, exactly, is a browsewrap? which reviews browsewraps, clickwraps, clickthroughs,...more

4/20/2016 - Browsewrap Agreement Canada Clickwrap Agreements Terms and Conditions Terms of Service Terms of Use

Copyright Injunction Covers Vancouver Aquarium Video

The Vancouver Aquarium brought an injunction application to stop the online publication of a critical video entitled “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered”, which used the Aquarium’s copyright-protected materials in a “derogatory...more

4/15/2016 - Canada Copyright Copyright Infringement Derogation Injunctions Public Interest Video Recordings

Trademark Series: Deviations!

The adage “use it or lose it” captures the essence of the ongoing requirement to put a trademark into commercial use. If you abandon your mark, you effectively give up your trademark rights. The corollary is to “use it as...more

4/14/2016 - Canada Commercial Use Trademark Registration Trademarks

Facebook Follows Google to the SCC

By Richard Stobbe A class action case against Facebook...is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada. ...more

4/7/2016 - Canada Facebook Forum Selection Google International Litigation Jurisdiction Supreme Court of Canada Terms and Conditions

Trademark Series: Can a Geographical Name be a Trademark?

Let’s take an example. Is the word PARIS registrable as a trademark in Canada? A quick search of the registry shows that there are over 250 registered marks which contain the word PARIS for everything from jewelry to software...more

3/30/2016 - Canada Trademark Infringement Trademark Litigation Trademark Registration Trademarks

Trademark Series: Famous Marks in Canada

Adidas, Veuve Clicquot, Barbie… When is a mark considered “famous” in Canada, and do famous marks enjoy special protection? A handful of Canadian cases have outlined the court’s treatment of well-known brands: Sure, Barbie is...more

3/23/2016 - Adidas Canada Corporate Branding Mattel Trademark Ownership Trademarks

Trademark Series: What is “use” of a trademark?

This is a story of what “use” really means. In the internet context, a trademark can be displayed on a website by a Canadian company, and that website can be accessed anywhere in the world. Similarly, a foreign company can...more

3/16/2016 - Canada International Trademark Protection Internet Trademark Act Trademarks Websites

Class Action Against Google’s Crowd Sourcing

Most of us have had to pass through a CAPTCHA screen in order to log in or use a web-based service. This often involves deciphering and typing in one or two garbled words. One of the more popular screens is operated by Google...more

3/9/2016 - Class Action Google Internet Websites

What Happens When a Franchise Agreement Ends - Part Three: Rescission

In our previous posts (See Part 1 and Part 2), we reviewed restrictive covenants and cancellation rights under franchise laws. In a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the dispute focused on the right of...more

3/3/2016 - Canada Contract Terms Franchise Agreements Material Disclosures Remedies Rescission

CASL Enforcement (Part 2)

As reviewed in Part 1, since July 1, 2014, Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (or CASL) has been in effect, and the software-related provisions have been in force since January 15, 2015. In January, 2016, the Canadian Radio-television...more

3/2/2016 - Anti-Spam Legislation Canada CASL CRTC Malware Software Spam

CASL Enforcement (Part 1)

Since July 1, 2014, Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (or CASL) has been in effect, and the software-related rules have been in force since January 15, 2015. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see a few patterns emerge from the...more

2/26/2016 - Anti-Spam Legislation Canada CASL Commercial Electronic Messages Do Not Call List Enforcement Actions Internet Marketing Spam Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

The IP Dimensions of 3D Printing: a recent decision

There has been much speculation about the impact of 3D printing on the enforcement of IP rights. But very few decisions. Now, finally, a case you can sink your teeth into: ClearCorrect v. ITC, 2014-1527 deals squarely with a...more

2/24/2016 - 3D Printing Canada Dentists Digital Data Patent Infringement Popular Technology Sector

Copyright Act confers no rights upon animals

Naruto the monkey must abandon his budding photography career and go back to using his opposable thumbs towards some other end. To bring the monkey-selfie case to a close, the US District Court outlined its careful reasoning...more

2/16/2016 - Authorship Canada Copyright Infringement Photographs Popular Selfies The Copyright Act

What does it mean to circumvent a “Technological Protection Measure”?

Copyright attempts to balance the rights of authors with the rights of users. It’s this tension - copyrights vs. user rights - that makes copyright so fascinating (…to some people). In 2012, Parliament enacted some changes to...more

2/16/2016 - Canada Copyright Copyright Infringement The Copyright Act

Wait… Did you say jail time for trademark infringement?

Imprisonment in intellectual property infringement cases is rare - although not unheard of. The message from a recent Canadian Federal Court decision is… don’t mess with the Court. They expect compliance with their orders and...more

2/3/2016 - Canada Contempt Infringement Intellectual Property Litigation Young Lawyers

Google Appeals Equustek to SCC

The Google and Equustek Saga has garnered attention across Canada and even among US commentators (something rare for Canadian decisions). In September, 2015, Google Inc. filed an application for leave to appeal the decision...more

1/21/2016 - Canada Free Speech Google Internet Motion for Leave Supreme Court of Canada

Online Infringement and Norwich Orders: an update

This is a case that became something of a lightning rod in the storm of subscriber privacy rights vs. copyright. As we wrote in our earlier post, a copyright owner can only enforce its rights against online infringement if it...more

1/19/2016 - Canada Copyright Infringement Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Norwich Orders Right to Privacy

Trademarks and Metatags: an update

What if a competitor cut and paste the metatags from your website and used them on the competitor’s site? Is there a remedy under Canadian law? Are metatags subject to trademark protection? The answer is… it depends. Red...more

1/15/2016 - Canada Copyright Popular Tag Line Trademark Infringement Trademarks Websites

Amendments to Canadian Intellectual Property Laws …Delayed

As an update to our earlier post, we note that the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, in its most recent bulletin, is estimating that the anticipated changes to Canada’s intellectual property laws - including the...more

1/12/2016 - Canada Copyright Intellectual Property Protection Trademarks Trans-Pacific Partnership

Non-Disclosure & Confidentiality: A Cautionary Tale

A confidentiality agreement is signed. So… confidentiality is covered, right? This 2014 case, nClosures Inc. v. Block and Company, Inc., No.13-3906 & 14-1097 (7th Cir., Oct. 22, 2014), shows that the answer is “not so fast”....more

1/7/2016 - Confidential Information Confidentiality Agreements Manufacturing Non-Disclosure Agreement Young Lawyers

CBC v. SODRAC: Supreme Court on Canadian Copyright

The CBC, like all television broadcasters, makes copies of various works - such as music and other content - in the course of preparing programs for broadcast. So-called “synchronization copies” are used to add musical works...more

12/14/2015 - Canada Copyright Infringement Copyright Litigation Musical Sound Recordings Television Broadcast Stations

Infringing Sales Through Amazon

A U.S. court recently decided that it would take jurisdiction over a seller who sold allegedly infringing products through online retailers such as Amazon.com. PetEdge Inc. a Massachusetts-based manufacturer, owns a patent...more

12/7/2015 - Amazon Marketplace Canada Internet Retailers Jurisdiction Patent Infringement

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