Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

The Fintech Frontier: Insights from Money20/20

Posted in M&A/Finance, Regulatory Compliance
Ana BadourMatthew FlynnGenevieve Pinto

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Money20/20 fintech conference in Las Vegas. It was an immersive and incredibly informative event, featuring speakers and thought leaders from many of the major U.S. and Canadian financial institutions, fintech innovators, major retailers, e-commerce and social media platforms and investors. Money20/20 is described as the largest global event focused on payments and financial services innovation for connected commerce at the intersection of mobile, retail, marketing services, data and technology. Continue Reading

EU Parliament Adopts New Net Neutrality Rules Allowing Content Optimized Services

Posted in Regulatory Compliance
Julia Johnson

European Union member states have a new net neutrality framework that will allow service providers to offer specialized services – such as improved internet quality for IPTV – where the upgrades do not impact general Internet quality for other end-users.

On October 27 the European Parliament passed a new electronic communications Regulation, with a view to protecting net neutrality. Broadly speaking, net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally regardless of content or volume. The European Parliament adopted a Regulation laying down measures concerning open access. The new Regulation also amends Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services and Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union. Article 1 of the new Regulation states that it aims to “safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-users’ rights.”

The new rules set out in the Regulation include exceptions that allow for internet traffic management practices as well as the ability to offer faster specialty services. Continue Reading

Data Transfers from EU to US “unlawful”; EU Signals Enforcement Actions Possible After January, 2016

Posted in Privacy
Kirsten ThompsonBarry SookmanDaniel G.C. GloverCharles Morgan

On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”) released a statement on the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in the case Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner (C-362-14), the landmark decision which invalidated the decision of the European Commission underpinning the Safe Harbour framework by which personal information was permitted to move from the EU to the United States. Continue Reading

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What’s in it for Telecommunications, E-Commerce and Intellectual Property?

Posted in E-Commerce, Intellectual Property
Cristel Chabot-LapointeXin Gao

On October 5, 2015, Canada and the following 11 Pacific Rim countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam, have reached a deal on the content of new free-trade agreement covering the Pacific region, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (the “TPP”). Although the final treaty text has yet to be settled and released, some information about the agreement has been released by many of the participating governments, including Canada. The content of the TPP covers a wide variety of economic activities and sectors, including, among others, telecommunications, e-commerce and intellectual property.   Continue Reading

A Matter for Expert Evidence: No Obligation to Identify Combinations of Prior Art for Obviousness

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents
Bart NowakSteven Tanner

Litigants seeking to invalidate claims of a patent invariably allege that the invention claimed by the asserted patent would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. An allegation of obviousness typically relies on a mosaic of prior art combined with the skilled person’s common general knowledge to show that the inventive concept would have been obvious. A recent decision of Justice Heneghan of the Federal Court has clarified the extent to which a party alleging obviousness has to particularize the specific combinations asserted to render the inventive concept obvious.

In Crude Solutions Limited et al v. MEG Energy Corp., the Defendant had alleged that the inventive concept of the Plaintiffs’ patent was obvious in light of prior art listed in a schedule to its pleading. The Defendant had particularized which portions of prior art were being relied upon, but had not provided the specific combinations of prior art being relied upon for its allegation of obviousness. The Plaintiffs filed a motion for further and better particulars to require the identification of specific combinations or, in the alternative, to strike the Defendant’s obviousness claim. Continue Reading

Europe’s Top Court Invalidates ‘Safe Habour’ Data Transfer Framework

Posted in Privacy, Regulatory Compliance
Kirsten ThompsonDaniel G.C. GloverBreanna NeedhamBarry SookmanCharles Morgan

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) declared that the US-EU Safe Harbour framework is invalid, striking it down in the highly anticipated case of Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner. The decision is effective immediately, with far-reaching and widespread implications for entities with multinational data flows.

Since EU data protection laws purport to apply to the processing of personal data regardless of whether the individuals affected are EU citizens or not, or are physically present in the EU or not, the potential impacts of this decision go beyond those organizations with an EU clientele. Any organization that makes use of equipment located in a Member State to process personal data is potentially at risk. Continue Reading

Who Goes There? Protecting Intellectual Property Relating to Payment Innovation

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents
Ana BadourJudith McKayRobert Nakano

The payments space is undergoing a period of rapid innovation, resulting in traditional financial institutions competing more and more directly with large technology companies such as Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook. Unsurprisingly, various players in the payments industry have been filing patents to protect their proprietary technologies for various payment functionalities, ranging from central elements of a payment transaction (such as core payment processing algorithms), to other ancillary, but necessary, aspects of a payment transaction, such as authentication and tokenization methods. Continue Reading

Chambers Canada 2016 Results – Technology Law

Posted in Awards and Recognitions
Charles Morgan

On October 2, 2015, the inaugural edition of the Chambers Canada Guide was launched (in previous years, Canada was part of the Global Guide). Once again, McCarthy Tétrault LLP is the highest ranking technology law firm in Canada (Band 1). McCarthy’s is the only firm in Canada with four lawyers ranked Band 2 or higher.

Chambers has recognized a number of our lawyers as leading practitioners in the areas of Information Technology, Telecommunications & Broadcasting, Intellectual Property and Data Protection.  These leading practitioners and Chambers commentary are as follows: Continue Reading

Law Society of British Columbia Rule Change Re: Cloud Computing in the Legal Industry

Posted in Regulatory Compliance
Terry GaoRahim EsmailAndrew Alvarez Brown


Many businesses have harnessed cloud computing to improve the way they manage and deliver computing resources. The benefits of cloud computing include cost effectiveness, scalability and accessibility. However, since cloud computing services are provided through a shared pool of computing resources, which often includes the storage and processing of data in third-party data centres, the cloud computing model has inherent risks related to service uptime, records retention, and data privacy and security. Lawyers should approach cloud computing with caution because of these risks, the highly confidential information they hold on behalf of their clients, and their professional responsibilities.

This article sets out some of the cloud computing requirements that lawyers must comply with in BC and issues that lawyers should consider and address before using cloud computing services. Many of the guidelines and best practices set out below are also useful for businesses and professionals outside of the legal industry. Although the BC working group report has been out for some time, the other provinces have so far not chosen to emulate the BC approach. They have instead tended to rely on pre-existing duties of confidentiality rather than attempting to formalize specific rules for cloud services. The BC approach is also relatively restrictive as compared with other jurisdictions which, thus far, have taken a more liberal approach towards regulating the use of cloud services in the legal profession. Continue Reading

Prepare to Launch – Part 1: Insights from Vancouver Startup Week

Posted in M&A/Finance, Startups
Genevieve PintoMaureen Gillis

McCarthy Tétrault LLP was delighted to recently host a sold-out crowd at our feature event as part of Vancouver Startup Week, a week-long celebration of Vancouver’s unique entrepreneurial spirit and innovative technology community.

Prepare for Launch”, an interactive panel moderated by McCarthy Tétrault’s Genevieve Pinto, featured guests Eric Bukovinsky, Principal, Yaletown Venture Partners; Ryan Spong, Co-Founder & CEO, Foodee; and Spencer Thompson, Founder & CEO, Sokanu, among others. Continue Reading