snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Monthly Archives: June 2015

“Not Necessarily Regulation, but Regulation as Necessary”: Canadian Senate Committee Weighs in on Regulation of Digital Currency

Posted in Regulatory Compliance, Virtual Currency

In March of 2014, the Minister of Finance tasked the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce to examine the use of digital currencies. The Committee pursued an extensive fact-finding mission in Canada and in the United States, speaking with, amongst others, representatives from regulatory bodies, financial institutions, digital currency interest groups, law enforcement, and universities. The long-anticipated, 64-page report was published this month with a clear message: while there are steps to take to address the risks digital currencies could pose in money laundering, terrorist financing, and tax evasion, the federal government should tread carefully in developing regulations … Continue Reading

BC Privacy Act Does Not Oust Facebook’s Forum Selection Clause: BC Court of Appeal

Posted in Privacy, Social Media

How do operators of global services deal with the panoply of legal systems around the world? One common strategy relies on choice of law and forum selection clauses in Terms of Use agreements. These clauses purport to determine in advance what law will apply to disputes and where they will be heard. Canadian courts tend to enforce such agreements, on the basis that the parties are generally best-placed to decide for themselves how to govern their affairs. Such agreements promote certainty, which courts (and parties) usually finds comforting.

However, local laws sometimes modify or invalidate these kinds of agreements. For … Continue Reading

Bill C-65: Canada Moves to Implement the Marrakesh Treaty

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property

On June 8, 2015, the Minister of Industry introduced Bill C-65, with the short title Support for Canadians with Print Disabilities Act. This Bill amends provisions of the Copyright Act dealing with exceptions intended to facilitate access to alternate format works by the visually impaired and other persons with so-called “print disabilities”. These changes are intended to implement (and enable Canada to accede to) the Marrakesh Treaty, as announced in the federal budget. (See pp. 21, 281, 286.)

The proposed amendments broaden the exception in section 32, including by removing the exclusion of large print books … Continue Reading

Hospital Privacy Breach Results in OSC Laying Charges

Posted in Privacy

The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) has announced a series of criminal and quasi-criminal charges following an investigation related to the misuse of confidential patient information from the Rouge Valley Health System and the Scarborough Hospital. The OSC charges stem from allegations that a RESP sales representative purchased stolen maternity patient labels from a hospital nurse over a two-and-a-half-year period. The health information of approximately 14,000 new mothers was allegedly compromised.

This comes 6 months after a separate review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (“IPC”) which determined that Rouge Valley Health System failed to put in place “reasonable … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal Clarifies Misunderstanding: Factual Basis and Line of Reasoning Need not be Disclosed in the Patent

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Summary

In a decision released on June 3, 2015 (2015 FCA 137), a unanimous Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) dismissed Apotex’s appeal of Justice O’Reilly’s order prohibiting the Minister of Health from issuing a NOC to Apotex to market its generic version of LUMIGAN RC® until the expiry of Canadian Patent No. 2,585,691 (the “‘691 Patent”).

Significantly, on the issue of sound prediction the FCA held that the elements of sound prediction need not be disclosed in a patent if they would be self-evident to the skilled person. The Federal Court of Appeal has previously stated this … Continue Reading

Google’s Patent Purchase Program: In the public interest or a monopoly on patent rights?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On April 27th, 2015 Google announced the launch of its Patent Purchase Promotion. The “experiment,” as Google calls it, allows patent owners, or those otherwise authorized to sell a patent, to set a price for their patent and offer it for sale to Google. The Promotion is Google’s attempt to “remove friction from the patent market” and “help improve the patent landscape and make the patent system work better for everyone.” By offering to buy patents direct, Google is attempting to provide an alternative to the lure of selling one’s patent to a non-practicing entity, more commonly … Continue Reading