Category: Intellectual Property

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Supreme Court of Canada Promises New Utility Test for Patents

July 18, 2017

What does “useful”, one of the basic requirements for the patentability of an invention, mean in Canadian patent law? On June 30, 2017, in AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc. (AstraZeneca), the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled that the threshold for utility is low — a mere scintilla will do. In fact, requiring anything more is not only overly…

Car Ad Websites Slightly “Scraped” in Copyright Case, Court Puts Brakes on Statutory Damages Minimums

April 20, 2017

On April 6, 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Court) provided insight into how courts will approach the scraping of websites and assessing statutory damages for copyright infringement in Trader v. CarGurus. The Court used its discretion to lower the presumptive minimum statutory damages per work to avoid a purely arithmetic calculation that would have been disproportionate to the…

Shining a Light on the Darknet: What Every Business Should Know

March 27, 2017

The portion of the Internet that most people generally use is only one of three layers. The commonly used layer that is accessible by search engines is referred to as the clearnet or the surface web and represents only about four per cent of Internet content. In addition to the surface web, the Internet comprises the deep web and the…

Professional Hockey Player Did Not Breach Morals Clause in Endorsement Contract, Ontario Court Rules

November 28, 2016

Brand owners have engaged celebrity endorsers to sell products for decades, but not all of them make it through a celebrity endorsement unscathed. O.J. Simpson, Chris Brown, Tiger Woods and Ryan Lochte are among the celebrity endorsers to be dropped by sponsors following personal or professional scandals. In most cases, the sponsor relies on a so-called morals clause to justify…

Patenting in Canada: Do These Genes Fit?

October 27, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada has commented on the issue but no Canadian court has directly answered the difficult question of whether genes are patentable. So the answer appears to be yes, for now. Identifying genetic sequences associated with diseases and creating tests to screen for them are unquestionably valuable scientific innovations. Due to the challenge and expense of pinpointing…

Hot-Button Topics in Intellectual Property Law

June 8, 2016

These fast-paced and informative sessions offer attendees an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of recent developments in intellectual property. Blakes lawyers and patent agents highlight the key elements of each topic and provide forecasts and constructive recommendations. Topics: Confidentiality and the Courts in an Age of Transparency – Alan Aucoin Technological Protection Measures and Copyright – Gary Daniel…

Quebec Publishes Draft Regulations Requiring the Presence of French on Outdoor Signs

May 10, 2016

On May 4, 2016, the Government of Quebec published proposed Regulations that aim to ensure there is “a sufficient presence of French” on the outdoor signage of establishments on which trademarks appear in a language other than French. These proposed Regulations would amend current Regulations under the Charter of the French Language (Charter) and would require Quebec businesses using non-French…

Your Guide to the 2016 Federal Budget

April 15, 2016

We have summarized key aspects of the Liberal government’s 2016 federal budget that may impact your business. Please see 2016 Federal Budget – Selected Tax Measures for more information. For pension-related matters, see Federal Budget 2016 – Pension Issues. For financial services, see 2016 Federal Budget – Financial Services Highlights. For infrastructure, see Change Orders: Analyzing Proposed New Infrastructure Spending in 2016 Budget. In…

Supreme Court Hearing May Resolve Critical Questions in Canadian Patent Law

March 28, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently granted AstraZeneca Canada Inc. et al. (AstraZeneca) leave to appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision upholding the invalidity of AstraZeneca’s Nexium patent. This appeal will address a number of critical questions in Canadian patent law, and the SCC’s rulings on these questions will provide some much-needed clarity. In particular, the SCC’s…

2016 Federal Budget – Selected Tax Measures

March 23, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the Minister of Finance tabled Canada’s 2016 Federal Budget (the 2016 Budget). This was the first budget presented by the newly-elected Liberal government, which won a strong majority in the fall 2015 federal election after nearly a decade with the Conservative party in power. The Liberals were elected on a platform that included promises to provide tax…

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