Richard Stobbe

Richard Stobbe

Field Law

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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

Online Defamation: Linking and Liking

Defamatory content on the internet?? Throw a metaphorical rock into the ether and you’ll hit something that meets the definition of defamatory content. In order to establish a claim for defamation, a plaintiff must establish...more

12/1/2015 - Defamation User-Generated Content

Making a Monkey Out of Copyright

The Monkey Selfie Caper apparently has legs, as they say in the news business. Long legs with opposable toes. (For background, see our earlier post: Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection)...more

10/6/2015 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Copyright Litigation PETA Photographs Selfies

Dear Trademark: Don’t Ever Change

Change is not always good, particularly in the world of registered trademarks. If your trademark changes over time - due to the vagaries of marketing trends, fashion, style - you may find that your mark no longer matches the...more

10/2/2015 - Trademark Registration Trademarks

Limitations of Liability: Do they work in the Alberta Oilpatch?

Let’s consider that contract you’re about to sign. Does it contain a limitation of liability? And if so, are those even enforceable? It’s been several years since we last wrote about limitations of liability and exclusion...more

9/29/2015 - Energy Sector Limitation of Liability Clause Oil & Gas Supreme Court of Canada Well Drilling

Apple’s Liability for the Xcode Hack

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by speculating that someone, somewhere is preparing a class-action suit based on the recently disclosed hack of Apple’s app ecosystem. How did it happen? In a nutshell, hackers were able...more

9/24/2015 - Apple Class Action Cloud Computing Cyber Attacks Cyber Crimes Data Breach File Sharing Hackers Malware Mobile Apps Software

Forum Selection in Online Terms

Let’s say you’re a Canadian company doing business with a US supplier - which law should govern the contract? ‘Forum selection’ and ‘governing law’ refer to the practice of choosing the applicable law and venue for resolving...more

9/22/2015 - Apple Class Action Cloud Computing Facebook Forum Selection Google Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Online Platforms Software Developers Suppliers Terms of Service

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 out of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the dispute focussed on the right of...more

9/21/2015 - Cancellation Rights Disclosure Requirements Franchisee Franchises Franchisors Rescission Restrictive Covenants

Patent Update: Infringement and “Non-Infringing Alternatives”

If you are a patent owner, you are entitled to damages if someone infringes your patent. The measure of damages is compensatory damages, lost profits or a “reasonable royalty”. Is it fair for the infringer to say that the...more

9/15/2015 - Apotex Appeals Compensatory Damages Merck Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patents Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmaceutical Patents Popular

Is the Mark used as a Trademark or a Trade Name?

Apple Inc. sells Apple-branded computers. Is Apple a trademark or a trade name? And what’s the difference anyway? And perhaps most importantly, why should you even care? A trademark is a protectable brand that distinguishes...more

9/9/2015 - Apple Blackberry Construction Industry Real Estate Development Real Estate Professionals Trade Names Trademark Infringement Trademark Registration Trademarks

No copyright or trademark protection for metatags

What if a competitor copied the metatags on your website and you watched web traffic bleed from your own site while the competitor’s site enjoyed a bump in hits? Are metatags subject to copyright or trademark protection?...more

9/8/2015 - AdWords Copyright Copyright Infringement Google Metadata Trademark Infringement Trademarks Website Design Websites

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 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 Computing 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

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