snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lesson for Companies Aquiring Financing: Tort for Breach of Confidence Cannot be Modified by Confidentiality Agreement

Posted in M&A/Finance

 The recent case Scott & Associates Engineering Ltd. v. Finavera Renewables Inc.[1] serves as a warning to many companies, in particular, technology companies that share commercially sensitive information with a perceived partner to secure the necessary funds or financing.

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held in this case that a party who shared commercially sensitive information with a perceived partner could not rely on a mutual confidentiality agreement or the common law breach of confidence when the confidentiality information belongs to a third party and not the party claiming the breach. Notably, the Court rejected the argument that … Continue Reading

Trade-marking Colour When Applied to Packaging

Posted in Intellectual Property, Trade-marks

 Colour is a crucial component of many brands. Most often the first thing a consumer will notice about a logo or product package is its colour. Think of red for Coca-Cola®, brown for UPS® or blue for IBM®.  Given its importance in branding, it is no surprise that colour has been the subject of trade-mark claims.

Section 30(h) of the Trade-marks Act (the “Act”) requires that an application for the registration of a trade-mark other than word mark include “a drawing of the trade-mark and such number of accurate representations of the trade-mark as may be prescribed”.[1] Section 27(1) … Continue Reading

Making social networks remediate defamation enabled by their platforms: McKeogh v Facebook

Posted in Social Media


Recently, the Irish High Court came up with a novel solution in a social media defamation case involving an unfortunate young student who was grossly defamed when certain persons wrongly identified him as the man seen in a video posted on YouTube exiting a taxi in Dublin without paying the fare.[1] The decision illustrates the difficulties an innocent person who is defamed on social media can face when trying to have the material removed, particularly where the Internet intermediaries who may have the ability to help refuse to cooperate. In this case the High Court ordered the experts … Continue Reading