Would The Real "Fashion Santa" Please Stand Up?
by Adam M. Tracey on November 30, 2016
An interesting clash between the rights afforded under trademark and copyright law is brewing in Toronto, just in time for the holiday season.
Toronto model Paul Mason, popularly known as the “Fashion Santa”, is considering his legal options after being replaced in a popular holiday advertising campaign at Yorkdale Mall. Mr. Mason’s stylish outfits and distinctive white beard created quite the social media sensation in 2015, putting a distinctly modern spin on our concept of Old St Nick. You can read more about this unique IP case here.
CIPO Trademark Practice Update - Descriptiveness and Place of Origin
by Adam M. Tracey on November 15, 2016
Section 12(1)(b) of the Trade-marks Act provides that a trademark is registrable if it is not either clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the place of origin of the associated goods and services.
This case and the associated practice notice serve to clarify the test when making this assessment of registrability. One of the main questions before the Court of Appeal was: by whose knowledge do we make this assessment of descriptiveness?
Life-threatening Heart Ailment? No Problem, Just Invent the Solution!
by Adam M. Tracey on November 3, 2016
Many readers will have heard about the British engineer Tal Golesworthy, who was born with a rare genetic condition called Marfan Syndrome. This syndrome causes a mutation to the gene that makes fibrillin. For those of you needing to brush up on your Anatomy 101, fibrillin is a protein that is essential to the formation of elastic fibers found in the body’s connective tissue.
People afflicted with Marfan Syndrome tend to have particularly long limbs and digits, and often suffer from scoliosis. In severe cases, Marfan can cause heart valve disease and a significant risk of aortic aneurysms.
Blacklock's Reporter - Paywalls and Fair Dealing
by Blog Editor on October 19, 2016
We encounter copyrighted products every day of our lives. Copyright is there to protect the creator, and give them the legal right to decide how their work is reproduced, published or distributed. However, sometimes we infringe that copyright, either deliberately or inadvertently. But are all infringements created equal?
The Federal Court last month heard a divisive case involving the Government of Canada and Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa-based subscription news site that covers politics, bills and regulations. Blacklock’s claims that in October 2013 a staff member at Finance Canada shared two paywall-protected articles with five of his colleagues, thereby breaching copyright.
Stop, Thief? Passing Off In Toronto
by Adam M. Tracey on October 4, 2016
We have all seen what can happen when a particular business idea takes off; before long, a proliferation of new businesses pop up in the same neighbourhood, and it can often be difficult to distinguish one taco joint (or craft brewery, nail bar, fair trade coffee house, yoga studio, etc.) from another.
This exact legal scenario is unfolding in the West Queen West neighbourhood of Toronto, where a cocktail supply emporium feels that its newfound success is being usurped by its neighbour - who was there first!