Intellectual Property Law in 2012

by Field Law
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Lawsuits! Infringement! Litigation! Ah, there’s never a dull moment in the wonderful world of intellectual property law, and 2012 will be no exception. Here’s our list of what to watch in the coming year:

Copyright, Copyright, Copyright: For several years running, we have predicted that copyright reform will come to Canada. It might actually happen in 2012. There is good reason for optimism this time: First, the Supreme Court of Canada heard a clutch of copyright cases in December 2011, and their decision is expected in the first half of 2012. Second, the Harper government is promising/threatening (depending on your point of view) to pass Bill C-11, the current iteration of the Copyright Reform Bill. Change will come, one way or another.

Online Terms & Cloud Computing: In one sense, “cloud computing” is just another name for a trend that has been developing for a decade. In another sense, it really does capture a new way of doing business for many IT services. We predict that the law will develop in this area in both Canada and the US, as online terms and cloud-computing contracts are tested in court. Here’s one example of a pending decision: Sony faces a class action in the US over its online terms for the PlayStation Network.

Anti-Spam Law: In 2011, we rashly stated that Canada made “headway” in the anti-spam department, with the passing of the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act. Canada’s anti-spam legislation did receive royal assent on December 15, 2010. However, the law is still not yet in force. Draft regulations are being debated and negotiated, and even if they do come into force in 2012, they will almost certainly be subject to a grace period which will delay implementation until late 2012, or maybe even 2013.

New CDRP Rules: In 2011, CIRA updated the rules governing dot-ca domain name disputes. Watch for our review of the changes, and the first decisions that have been released under the new rules.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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