Author: Mark Penner and John P. Beardwood

About Mark Penner and John P. Beardwood

Mark D. Penner’s practice focuses on all aspects of the acquisition, protection, enforcement and strategic use of a wide range of intellectual property assets in Canada and around the world.

“Zombie” Privacy & IP Rights: Protecting the Rights to an Individual’s Image after Death: Part 2 of 2

Part 2: Intellectual Property

In Part One of our series on protecting individuals’ images after their death, we examined the privacy rights that govern the use of these ‘zombie’ celebrities, just in time for Halloween. We considered what privacy rights attach to dead celebrities, and whether these rights can be exercised by their estates/heirs. In this Part Two, we will consider what intellectual property rights could govern this so-called resurrection of dead celebrities!

As you will recall from Part One, it is not surprising that movies and concerts are reaching back to long dead stars to “perform” for audiences. What intellectual property rights govern the resurrection of a dead celebrity? If property rights are the best way for a deceased’s heirs to protect the image of the deceased, how can the “property” regime of intellectual property rights assist?

There are a number of statutory IP regimes as well as common law causes of action which can allow online influencers and the estates of deceased celebrities to control and monetize these valuable assets and continue to monetize as technology allows them to do so.

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“Zombie” Privacy & IP Rights: Protecting the Rights to an Individual’s Image after Death: Part 1 of 2

Part 1: Privacy

James Dean could soon be starring in a new movie, over 60 years after his death! In what would be his fourth movie role, Dean’s image could be superimposed on a live actor for the film Finding Jack.  Animating deceased celebrities is not new however: a holographic image of deceased musician Tupac Shakur debuted at the CochellaTM music festival as far back as 2012.

Possible through the magic of computer technology, it would seem that deceased celebrities are as popular as ever and still command significant attention.  It is not surprising that movies and concerts are reaching back to long dead stars to “perform” for audiences. There will likely be no new scandals with these celebrities and they can be made to do whatever the creators have in mind without any “diva” pushback. While not everyone welcomes these developments, it will likely become more common as the technology continues to improve.

However, “employing” such “zombie” celebrities raises fascinating new legal issues, in particular in the areas of privacy law, and intellectual property law. 

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CIPO Fees to Increase After January 1, 2021

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has announced that many of its fees for Canadian trademarks, patents, industrial designs, and integrated circuit topographies will increase on January 1, 2021. Among the fees being increased by 2% are those for an application to register a trademark as well as examination of patent and industrial design applications. A full list of the adjusted fees can be found in the links above or on the CIPO website.

The CIPO website should be consulted for an up-to-date listing of the adjusted fees because the applicable Tariff of Fees in the Patent Rules may not yet be updated. Whether the current fee or the adjusted fee must be paid for a given service will depend on the date on which the fee is received by CIPO, not the date on which the service is requested.

Fasken’s team of experienced intellectual property lawyers, patent agents, and trademark agents would be pleased to assist you with any and all CIPO matters.

THIS time it’s final … The Canadian Intellectual Property Office Extends IP Deadlines Until AUGUST 31st

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has extended its final extension of the deadlines under the Patent ActTrademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we reported previously, March 16th to August 21st were considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation; the time to respond to certain CIPO actions therefore had been previously extended to August 24th.

On August 19th, CIPO announced that August 24th, 2020 to August 28th, 2020 inclusive will also be considered “designated days”. This means that the time period to respond may now be extended to the next business day, namely August 31st, 2020. Due to the online and fax service interruptions taking place from August 21 to August 23, CIPO decided to extend the final extension to provide additional flexibility to its clients.

While the above noted designations by CIPO apply to most, but possibly not all, due dates that originate with CIPO, it is likely that obligations under international treaties and/or conventions, such as the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, may still apply and must be complied with accordingly.  As such, any action(s) required to be taken in Canada between now and August 28th should be taken on or before the applicable date or discussed with a Canadian patent agent in order to ensure all rights in Canada and abroad are maintained.

While this is the final extension of designated days, clients may still face challenges related to the pandemic. IP specific extensions of time may be available under the applicable Canadian IP statues and/or regulations. Some deadlines, however, cannot be extended, and others have prescribed limits to any available extensions.

Fasken’s IP group continues to take steps to ensure continuity of our services to our clients over this period, largely by working remotely. As CIPO’s online solutions are available 24/7 and from anywhere, we are available to continue to assist our clients during this period. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, should you need assistance.  In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed of any developments as they occur.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office Issues Final Extension Until AUGUST 24th for IP Deadlines

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has announced its final extension of the deadlines under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we reported previously, March 16th to August 10th were considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation; the time to respond to certain CIPO actions therefore had been extended to August 10th.

On August 5th, CIPO announced that August 10th, 2020 to August 21st, 2020 inclusive will also be considered “designated days”. This means that the time period to respond may now be extended to the next business day, namely August 24th, 2020. This will, according to CIPO, be the last such extension.

While the above noted designations by CIPO apply to most, but possibly not all, due dates that originate with CIPO, it is likely that obligations under international treaties and/or conventions, such as the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, may still apply and must be complied with accordingly.  As such, any action(s) required to be taken in Canada between now and August 21st should be taken on or before the applicable date or discussed with a Canadian patent agent in order to ensure all rights in Canada and abroad are maintained.

While this is the final extension of designated days, clients may still face challenges related to the pandemic. IP specific extensions of time may be available under the applicable Canadian IP statues and/or regulations. Some deadlines, however, cannot be extended, and others have prescribed limits to any available extensions.

Fasken’s IP group continues to take steps to ensure continuity of our services to our clients over this period, largely by working remotely. As CIPO’s online solutions are available 24/7 and from anywhere, we are available to continue to assist our clients during this period. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, should you need assistance.  In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed of any developments as they occur.