IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "Canada"

USMCA Set To Export U.S. Copyright Law to North American Neighbors

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was passed by the U.S. Senate on January 16, 2020 and will be signed by President Trump today. The treaty, which renegotiates and cancels the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is expected to dramatically affect many areas of law of its three member states. With respect to copyright law, the USMCA largely exports copyright standards from the United States. Once it is implemented, content creators and owners, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and copyright professionals can expect the laws of Mexico and Canada to more closely resemble those of the United States with respect to liability and safe harbors for ISPs, the term of the life of a copyright, rights for sound recordings used in interactive streaming and anti-circumvention measures.

Responding to Criticism of ‘State Pharmaceutical Importation Programs Threaten Patients and Innovation’

A recent article by Dr. Kristina M. L. Acri née Lybecker highlighted her research about the fiscal workability of state pharmaceutical importation programs from two important aspects. Dr. Acri’s whole paper is very good. I recommend you read it if you’re into policy and not sound bites. I noticed, however, that the comments on the article elicited some common myths about Canadian drug importation that are important to address if we’re going to really understand this issue.

State Pharmaceutical Importation Programs Threaten Patients and Innovation

In mid-December, President Trump presented a plan to lower prescription drug prices by allowing states, drug wholesalers and pharmacies to import some cheaper drugs from Canada. While reducing the cost of medicines is a laudable goal, pharmaceutical importation programs – if implemented safely and effectively – would fail to deliver the promised savings. And if implemented without the necessary safeguards, they would endanger the lives of countless patients. The plan essentially relies upon importing price controls from Canada, which will both undermine innovation and prove unsustainable. As with many “simple solutions” the devil is in the details. Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration’s plan contains very few details on implementation. And it is precisely those details that are expensive and complicated.

Clawing Deeper into the Monster v. Raptors Trademark Battle

Torontonians may have accepted the loss of Kawhi Leonard, but another Raptors asset is still at risk: their newest logo. As detailed here, the Raptors are tipping off against energy drink company, Monster, who allege the Raptors’ logo—featuring a clawed-up basketball—is confusingly similar to their own claw-mark logo. Since first filing their United States trademark opposition suit in 2015, Monster has continued their court battle against the Raptors for the last four years with no known resolution to date. Monster has a whopping 176 trademarks active in Canada at this time. Their most recognizable and widely used mark contains three jagged vertical gashes, resembling those from a claw, in the shape of the letter M. Since 2002, Monster has used the claw-like logo on everything from their beverage products, to event sponsorships, to clothing. The Raptors, on the other hand, have only been using their clawed-up basketball logo since 2014, when they underwent a brand redesign, and do not own a federal trademark registration for the rebranded mark in Canada.

Beware of Traps in the New Canadian Patent Rules

The Government of Canada is changing the current Patent Act and Patent Rules to modernize the Canadian patent regime. The current Patent Rules will be replaced with a new set of rules (the “New Rules”), which will come into force on October 30, 2019. While not all of the changes are “traps,” practitioners should be wary of traps that could affect their practice, and ensure deadlines are updated in preparation of the changes.

Canada Patent Law Changes Are Bad News for Patent Owners

The effects of changes made to Canada’s patent law at the end of 2018 won’t be fully clear for some time, but Canadian patent owners and those looking to expand patent strategies into Canada may want to take heed.

On December 13, 2018, the Governor General of Canada gave royal assent to pass Bill C-86, known as the Budget Implementation Act, into law. The legislation makes several changes to Canadian patent law relating to how patent and trademark infringement cases are litigated in Canadian courts and prescribes new licensing requirements for patent and trademark agents operating in Canada. The amendments to the Canadian Patent Act are laid out in Part 4, Division 7, Subdivision A of the budget law.

Other Barks & Bites: IP News to Watch, January 25, 2019

Today marks the return of our Other Barks & Bites feature, which will profile a collection of news headlines from around the IP world and across practice areas every Friday. This week, the patent spat between Apple and Qualcomm heats up at the PTAB; China’s intellectual property court at Beijing shows signs of heightened requirements in trademark appeals for foreign entities; and the European Union delays debate on copyright reforms that would affect major tech firms that aggregate news and videos online.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2017: Design Patent Highlights

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators. For the second consecutive year, the number of design applications filed worldwide continued to grow, with an estimated 963,100 applications filed in total globally. The 2016 growth rate was 10.4%, following 2015’s more modest growth rate of 2.3% and 2014’s 10.2% drop in applications. 90% of the growth in 2016 can be attributed to increased filings in China.

Canada’s National IP Strategy Stoking Fears About Patent Trolls

The strategy also includes legislative changes to ensure ethical standards among patent and trademark agents and to “remove barriers to innovation, particularly any loopholes that allow those seeking to use IP in bad faith to stall innovation for their own gain.” And just who are these loophole-seeking bad faith actors seeking to bring the innovation economy of Canada to a grinding halt? Well, patent trolls, of course… It’s easy to point to the boogeyman of the patent troll but, in reality, concerns regarding such bad-faith actors tend to be overblown and have had the effect of nearly destroying the U.S. patent system in recent years. That decline has occurred even as the Federal Trade Commission has publicly said that the use of the term “patent troll” is prejudicial.

New Canadian IP strategy includes money for IP tools and literacy

In a move that recognizes the importance of innovation and IP rights – and the need for diverse audiences to understand how they work – the Canadian government has announced that it is investing $88.3M (CD) to create a new IP strategy that incorporates IP awareness and education.

U.S. Chamber calls on NAFTA Countries to modernize and elevate IP frameworks

The letter explains that the results from the Chamber’s IP Index has shown that as a whole North America is at a considerable disadvantage compared with both Asia and Europe. “NAFTA modernization is an opportunity to elevate the IP frameworks to a level commensurate with the world’s leading economies – if it fails to put Canada and Mexico among the top 10 countries ranked on the Index it will be a missed opportunity,” the letter reads.

European Commission Unveils Digital Tax Proposal Which Could Generate Billions in Tax Revenues from American Tech Giants

The European Commission has recently proposed new tax rules that would significantly alter the tax regime faced by technology companies operating in the European Union, including American tech giants like Google and Facebook. The proposal from European authorities would tax tech company revenues in the country where those revenues are generated rather than where the companies are regionally located; supporters of the proposal note that this would keep tech companies from reducing tax payments by locating regional headquarters in European nations with lower tax levels.

Innovators and Content Creators Urge USTR Lighthizer to Fight for Strong IP in NAFTA Negotiations

ACTION for Trade asks Lighthizer to consider advocating for strong IP protections and robust enforcement to benefit a diverse group of industries, including digital content producers and distributors, biopharmaceutical firms and software developers… Along with strong patent policy, ACTION for Trade calls for the establishment of regulatory data protection (RDP) provisions which are consistent with U.S. law, especially where medical innovations are concerned. The letter to USTR Lighthizer notes that U.S. law recognizes a 12-year period of RDP for biologic treatments and a 5-year period of RDP for small molecule treatments. Such provisions would allow the original innovators of novel medicines to submit data on the safety and efficacy of medicines while shielding that data from others who might produce generics based on the data.

USTR: Counterfeit and pirated physical products valued at nearly half a trillion dollars

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, imports of counterfeit and pirated physical products are valued at about half a trillion dollars, or about 2.5 percent of all imports around the globe… The recent review of notorious markets by the USTR identifies 43 such markets offering counterfeit or pirated goods either through physical stores or online channels. A total of 25 notorious markets identified in the report operate in the online space as websites either facilitating infringing conduct or lacking consumer privacy safeguards, some of which even enable the installation of malware on consumer computers. This malware can include remote access Trojans (RATs) which can steal sensitive personal information, like bank account information, or gain control of computer hardware.

Renegotiate NAFTA to Make it the Gold Standard in IP Protection

As President Trump embarks on the renegotiation of NAFTA, it is critical that we seize the opportunity to make it the gold standard in intellectual property rights protections… The stakes are tremendous and cannot be ignored.  In total, it is estimated that intellectual-property theft costs the United States approximately $600 billion per year.  A recent New York Times article notes that this is the “greatest transfer of wealth in history”.