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A Software Vendor and Its Customer: “Like Ships Passing on a Foggy Night”

When a customer got into a dispute with the software vendor about the license fees, the resulting case reads like a cautionary tale about software licensing. In ProPurchaser.com Inc. v. Wifidelity Inc., 2017 ONSC 7307...more

Trademark Evolution: Part 1 (When Trademarks Change)

The famous Toblerone bar is so distinctive in shape and design that it serves as a great example of a “distinguishing guise” trademark. It has been used as a trademark since 1910 in Canada, and during that time has...more

Privacy Breach … While Jogging Down a Public Path?

An online video shows someone jogging on a public pathway during a 2-second clip. Let me get this straight… does this constitute a breach of privacy rights? According to an Ontario court, the answer is yes. This is a...more

Copyright Appeal Considers “User-Generated Content”

In 2015 an independent film-maker shot a film critical of the Vancouver aquarium, using some footage over which the Aquarium claimed copyright. The Aquarium moved to block the online publication of the film. Last year we...more

The Google Injunction: US Federal Court Responds to Supreme Court of Canada

As noted in our recent summary of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in the ongoing fight between Google and Equustek Solutions, Google lost in Canada’s top court. Google promptly filed an application in US Federal...more

Worldwide Injunction… by Australian Court

Those familiar with the controversy surrounding the Google / Equustek saga will be interested to know that Canada is not alone in extending its reach in internet-related disputes. This worldwide injunction was issued by an...more

A Sale in Canada Triggers Exhaustion of Patent Rights in the US

“Patent exhaustion” is something we’ve reviewed before. To recycle an old line, the term “patent exhaustion” does not refer to the feeling you get when a patent agent talks for 3 hours about the process of a patentee...more

Wait… “GOOGLE” is Not a Generic Word?

Is Google a brand or just a word meaning “conduct an online search”? A trademark can suffer “genericide” when it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous...more

“I googled it”: Generic Words and Trademark Rights

A registered trademark can suffer "genericide" if it becomes so commonly used that it transforms from a unique brand name into a generic word which is synonymous with a product or service....more

Non-Competition Clauses: Enforceable or Just for Show?

When can a non-competition clause actually stop someone from working? Or are these clauses just for show? Let's take a look at a couple of cases involving departing employees who find themselves in hot water with a former...more

US Drone Registry is Shot Down

In response to the proliferation of recreational drones in American skies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced a rule known as the “Registration Rule” in 2015. The rule required drone owners to register...more

Copyright in Seismic Data is Confirmed

In a decision last year, GSI (Geophysical Service Incorporated) sued to win control over seismic data that it claimed to own. GSI used copyright principles to argue that by creating databases of seismic data, it was the...more

Copyright Infringement on a Website: the Risks of Scraping and Framing

If photos are available on the internet, then… they’re free for the taking, right? Wait, that’s not how copyright law works? In the world of copyright, each original image theoretically has an “author” who created the...more

Defamation with the Click of a Mouse: Assessing Damages

In the midst of a challenging period for a condominium owners association in a property located in Costa Rica, the president of the association resigned in frustration. Someone had overheard a rumour that the president...more

5/3/2017  /  Canada , Damages , Defamation , Email

Patent Infringement for Listing on eBay?

A patent owner notices that knock-off products are listed for sale on eBay. The knock-offs appear to infringe his patent. When eBay refuses to remove the allegedly infringing articles. The patent owner sues eBay for patent...more

The Advisor: Best Practices for Display of a Trademark on Software

Xylem Water Solutions Manufacturing Alberta (“Xylem”) was the owner of the registered Canadian trademark AQUAVIEW in association with software for water treatment plants and pump stations. ...more

Canadian Copyright & Breach of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs): $12.7 million in Damages

It’s always exciting when there’s a new decision about an obscure 5-year old subsection of the Copyright Act! Back in 2012, Canada changed its Copyright Act to try and drag it into the 21st century. Among the 2012 changes...more

Interim Canadian Drone Rules Launched

As the recreational and commercial use of drones expands, the calls for a regulatory framework have grown louder. The Canadian federal government has, until last week, taken the simple approach of prohibiting the use of UAVs:...more

Experimental Use of an Invention

Inventors must take care that their invention is “new” for it to be patentable. That means the invention hasn’t been disclosed to the public. Trade show announcements, press releases, publications, offering the invention for...more

Another Canadian Decision Reaches Outside Canada

This fascinating Ontario case deals with an Alberta-based individual who complained of certain material that was re-published on the website Globe24h.com based in Romania. The server that hosted the website was located in...more

2/27/2017  /  Canada , PIPEDA , Privacy Laws

VCC vs. VCC: Where’s the Confusion?

When we’re talking about trademarks, at which point do we measure whether there is confusion in the mind of the consumer? We reviewed this issue in 2015. In that earlier decision, Vancouver Community College sued a rival...more

Is There Copyright in a Screenshot?

Ever wanted to remove something after it had been swallowed up in the gaping maw of the internet? Then you will relate to this story about an individual’s struggle to have certain content deleted from the self-appointed...more

1/12/2017  /  Canada , Copyright , Popular , The Copyright Act

Drone Patents

Last month, Amazon made its first delivery via drone with its Prime Air service. Remember, this is an e-commerce company not a drone manufacturer. Amazon is pushing the limits in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and...more

IP Licenses & Bankruptcy (Part 2 – Seismic Data)

What happens to a license for seismic data when the licensee suffers a bankruptcy event? In Part 1, we looked at a case of bankruptcy of the IP owner. However, what about the case where the licensee is bankrupt? In...more

Google v. The Court: Free Speech and IP Rights (Part 2)

Last week, hearings concluded in the important case of Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will render its judgment in writing, and the current expectation is that it will clarify...more

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