snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Computer is Not a Cupboard: The SCC Grapples With Computer Searches

Posted in Privacy

The Supreme Court of Canada recently formulated new rules for computer searches by police, acknowledging that the traditional legal framework was inadequate to protect the privacy rights of individuals in their digital life. In R. v. Vu, 2013 SCC 60, the Court said that a police search of a computer now requires prior authorization in the form of a specific warrant.

Facts

The police had been tipped about electricity theft at a residence suspected of being used to cultivate marijuana. They obtained a warrant to search the residence for evidence of such theft, including information identifying the owners and/or … Continue Reading

SCC Strikes Down Alberta Privacy Legislation on Speech Grounds

Posted in Privacy

This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada released Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62, an important decision relating to the intersection of freedom of expression and protection of privacy and, in the process, struck down Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act, SA 2003, c. P-6.5 ( “PIPA”). At issue were the privacy rights created by the PIPA and the right to free expression, which is constitutionally enshrined as section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”).

The case arose from a strike in 2006, at … Continue Reading

“Only Following Orders” No Defence: B.C. Court of Appeal Holds Employees Personally Liable for Their Participation in Breach of Technology License

Posted in Technology License Agreement

In the case of XY, LLC v. Zhu, 2013 BCCA 352¸ the B.C. Court of Appeal has confirmed that employees of a company can be personally liable for the breach of a technology license agreement by their employer. The Court held that employees who continue to carry out low level tasks even after they become aware of their employer’s dishonest conduct may avoid liability; employees  who knowingly assist their employer in carrying out a fraud can be personally liable for the damages caused by the company’s conduct.

The plaintiff XY, LLC was formed to bring to market technology that … Continue Reading