Two years ago, I blogged about a U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) decision striking down a trademark law prohibiting the registration of “disparaging” words and phrases because the prohibition was found to unduly restrict “free speech” and was therefore unconstitutional.
The Trademarks Act (the “Act”) contains a unique provision that allows “public authorities” to by-pass the normal trademark registration application process and to protect their “official marks” indefinitely. There is no similar provision in any other country’s trademark protection regime.
Two recent and interesting Canadian copyright infringement cases have bubbled up to the highest courts in the land and threaten to carve a new exception in the intellectual property behemoth that has become copyright law. The issue is whether certain works should not be copyrightable.
On June 17, 2019, five years after the Harper government made countless amendments to the Trade-marks Act (the “Act”) in omnibus budget legislation (Bill C-31 of 2014), the famous Canadian hyphen (inside the word “Trade-marks” of the Act’s title) will become a thing of the past.
Tattoos have existed for over 5,000 years and are becoming more popular than ever. Few people may realize though, that they do not own the copyright to the beautiful artwork inked forever into their skin.
On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) delivered a unanimous decision that the 1946 trade-mark law (Lanham Act) prohibiting the registration of “disparaging” words and phrases, violated the country’s constitution as an unacceptable restriction on free speech.
On May 17, 2017 the UK Court of Appeal's denied Nestle's decade-long efforts to register its iconic four-finger shape of a KitKat bar in Britain. The shape of the candy is registered as a trade-mark in several countries, including Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.
A heated debate is emerging in the copyright world this week; can an artist’s moral rights be infringed merely by placing an object next to a sculpture. This debate poses the questions, what are moral rights and how does the Canadian Copyright Act protect artists.
During the most popular week for burgers in Halifax, it was reported that lawyers for McDonald’s Corporation sent a cease and desist letter to a Halifax restaurant. A cease and desist letters can have a strong deterrent effect, if it's without solid legal foundation, the sender loses credibility.