Category: Case Studies

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WHAT, IN THE NAME OF GOD, …?: Intellectual Property Rights In Holy Names, Sacred Words, & Other Aspects of Creation

The title of this piece tracks a common “phrase of exasperation used to emphasize a question or statement.”  If that be the case, and I think it is, then the subtitle implies the question this piece will address.  That question is “how have various countries’ intellectual property laws addressed efforts to copyright, trademark, or patent … Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Held Indefinite for Failing to Disclose an Algorithm?

Suppose that you want to obtain a patent for an invention and, in your claims of the patent application, you recite terms as a structure with functional language or means-plus-function language.  What if this language requires an algorithm to carry out the function and you fail to disclose the algorithm in your patent application?  Can … Continue Reading

INTERNET MEMES IN RUSSIAN PRACTICE: IP PROTECTION AND PERSONALITY RIGHTS ISSUES

When we say “meme”, we usually mean an internet meme. An Internet meme is an idea (and some content embodying this idea) spread via the Internet. Memes are usually created in the internet community for humorous purposes. However, memes in practice may raise issues associated with copyright, registration of trademarks, or even with personal data … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Narrows Definition of Autodialer in Facebook Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court released its eagerly anticipated decision in Facebook Inc. v. Duguid yesterday, narrowly construing the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system, or autodialer, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and resolving the uncertainty that had led to a long-standing split in the circuit courts. Autodialer Definition and Interpretations A circuit split regarding … Continue Reading

Entitled To Copyright Erasure?: A Fair Use Search For A Derived Yet Transformational Work

The title is the first thing the reader sees or hears …—and getting it right is the single most important … decision you’ll make. The title forms the basis of the reader’s judgment ….” Tucker Max For those of you who may read my past ILN posts, you will not be surprised that I subscribe … Continue Reading

Protecting Confidential Information in Canada: Is there a Better Way?

The British Columbia decision Equustek Solutions Inc. v Jack[1] highlights the difficult, time consuming, and expensive exercise that organizations may find themselves in when an employee misuses confidential information. In today’s environment, information can be downloaded, transferred or shared instantly. How can organizations best protect their intellectual property assets and confidential information to maintain their … Continue Reading

AUSTRALIAN PATENT LAW UPDATE – THE HIGH COURT HAS OVERTURNED OVER 100 YEARS OF LAW, FAVOURING THE US DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION

Late last year, the High Court of Australia overturned more than 100 years of precedent when it handed down its decision in Calidad Pty Ltd v Seiko Epson Corporation [2020] HCA 41 (Calidad v Seiko). Rather than following the existing principle of ‘implied licence’, in its decision, the High Court adopted a US common law … Continue Reading

Protection of Photographic Works

With the development of science and technology, cameras or mobile phones are now having various built-in shooting modes or parameters to facilitate photographers to quickly shoot assorted scenes or atmospheres, which is quite different from the traditional way that photographers need to adjust various parameters by themselves. Regarding whether the photographic works taken using the … Continue Reading

Can Trademarks having Domain Indicators Like “Dot Com” be Registered?

Suppose that you want to federally register a trademark that has a domain indicator like “.com” at the end that identifies a source of goods or services related to your business.  The trademark may have a first part that is generic like “automobile” and a second part that is a domain indicator like “.com”.  Should … Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter Movement Sparks Branding Changes

The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery this year, among others, have reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement, resulting in powerful nationwide conversations about racial injustice in the United States, with far-reaching ripple effects. Businesses across industries — such as sports, entertainment, consumer products and higher education — have reevaluated certain … Continue Reading

Recent changes in personal data regulation in Russia

Personal data (PD) protection is becoming the main topic of the recent days, so the Russian legislation in this sphere changes rapidly. The article represents an overview of updates on personal data regulation for the 3rd quarter of 2020. ATTEMPTS TO COUNTER THE CONSUMERS’ PERSONAL DATA COLLECTION Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights has … Continue Reading

SCC LEAVE DENIED: PUBLIC AUTHORITIES — NOT IMMUNE TO TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT CLAIMS

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied leave to appeal of the Ontario (Energy) v Quality Program Services Inc.1 Federal Court decision, thereby bringing finality to whether public authorities are immune to trademark infringement claims arising from use of their official marks. This Federal Court case law confirms that registered trademark owners will continue to enjoy the … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Adjudication on Whether a Post-grant Amendment of a Granted Patent Constitutes an Amendment of the Litigation Claim

When granted with a patent right, the patentee may file a request for amending the description, claim(s) or drawing(s) of the granted patent.  Hence, once an alleged infringer has presented prior evidence sufficient to establish that the patent at issue lacks patentability in a patent infringement litigation case, the patentee is likely to file post-grant … Continue Reading

Out Of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & The Case Of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series (before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky.  And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for … Continue Reading

TRADEMARK USE: NO NEED FOR A “BRICKS AND MORTAR” PRESENCE IN CANADA

“Use it or lose it” is a staple expression known to Canadian trademark lawyers. Once a business successfully registers a trademark in Canada, it must “use” its registered mark in Canada or it may lose the protections provided by the Trademarks Act (the “Act“). With the advent of e-commerce, many non-Canadian businesses can now advertise their services … Continue Reading

Can You Register a Copyright on a Short Work of Words and Artistic Designs?

Suppose that you have expressed your work into a tangible form such as a short expression of words and artistic designs.  Although your copyright exists upon the moment of creation, does the work contain a sufficient amount of authorship on which to base a claim for a copyright registration?  Should you register the copyright on … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That Willfulness Is Not Required to Recover Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on April 23, 2020, by unanimously holding in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., et al. that a brand owner is not required to prove that a trademark infringer acted willfully in order for the owner to be awarded the infringer’s profits. Background Romag Fasteners, Inc. … Continue Reading

GENERIC.COM — REGISTRABLE IN CANADA?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently confirmed that a “generic.com” term may be eligible for federal trademark registration in the U.S., in certain circumstances. We will review the relevant decisions, discuss the Canadian legal framework with respect to registration of such mark and consider the implications of seeking registration of a “generic.com” or a “generic.ca” mark … Continue Reading

BUSINESSES BEWARE: DEPRECIATION IN GOODWILL CLAIMS NOT BOUND BY INDUSTRY LINES

The Federal Court of Canada (the “FCTD“) recently released Toys “R” Us (Canada) Ltd v Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society, in which it considered whether a cannabis company, Herbs “R” Us Wellness Society (“Herbs R Us“), had breached Sections 20, 7(b) and 22 of Canada’s Trademarks Act (the “Act“) with respect to claims of trademark … Continue Reading

Queen Anne’s Revenge, Indeed!: Copyright Conundrums, Sovereign States, and IP Piracy

“One man’s legally sanctioned privateer is another man’s pirate.”           [James Wadsworth, Global Piracy: A Documentary History of Seaborne Banditry (2019), at p. 8] We live in a time of contradictions and confusion, and today we aim to explore how some such tensions have manifested themselves in the area of intellectual property law. On the one … Continue Reading

Can Lawsuits under Breach of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clauses Be Suspended Through Preliminary Injunction?

When civil disputes arise, in addition to seeking binding judgment through civil proceedings, parties can resolve the disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as arbitration, settlement, and mediation.  To avoid the complexities of possible future litigation and expedite dispute resolution, parties to an agreement commonly include an “ADR clause” in their agreement such … Continue Reading

THE FEDERAL COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS CANADA’S ANTI-SPAM LEGISLATION AS CONSTITUTIONAL

On June 5, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA“) released its decision in 3510395 Canada Inc. v. Attorney General of Canada et al., 2020 FCA 103, in which it upheld the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (“CASL“). CASL is the federal law which regulates the way in which businesses may communicate with consumers using electronic means. The … Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Cancelled Based on Indefiniteness by the PTAB during an IPR?

For the Patent and Trail Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the PTAB allows a petition for inter parties review (“IPR”) to request cancellation of claims in a U.S. patent.  For an inter parties review of a patent, the PTAB institutes review and determines if claims of a patent are unpatentable.  Can the PTAB cancel claims based on … Continue Reading
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