Category Archives: Canada

Patent Term Adjustment is finally coming to Canada

The Canadian government is proposing modifications to the Patent Rules to finally introduce a Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) system[1]. The PTA will provide an additional term for patents for unreasonable delays in their issuance. The PTA system is an obligation deriving from the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) that entered into force on July 1, 2020.

This new PTA system will take effect on January 1, 2025, and it will apply to Canadian patent applications filed on or after December 1, 2020 that have suffered unreasonable delays in their issuance. An unreasonable delay is defined as a delay in issuance of more than five years from the filing date or three years from the examination request date, whichever is later, with certain exclusions.

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Blacklock’s Reporter v Canada (Attorney General) and Password Sharing for Research Purposes

Social media phones

In its decision in 1395804 Ontario Ltd (Blacklock’s Reporter) v Canada (Attorney General), the Federal Court reaffirmed the broad nature of the Copyright Act’s (“Act”) fair dealing exception for research and made clear that the licit acquisition and valid use of a password does not constitute the circumvention of a technological protection measure (“TPM”). In coming to its decision, the Court considered three main issues: rectification, fair dealing, and technological protection measures. The Court also relied heavily on a previous case, 1395804 Ontario Ltd, Operating as Blacklock’s Reporter v AGC (“Department of Finance”), in which the same plaintiff, Blacklock, similarly alleged copyright infringement against another federal department.

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Copyright and Presentations: How to Avoid Presentation-Related Copyright Infringement

close-up of laptop

When building a PowerPoint presentation it can be very tempting to search the internet for the perfect photo, image, graph, or piece of music to liven up your slides and illustrate a particular point. However, if you do not pay attention to copyright you can expose yourself and your organization to potential legal liability. Similar risks can arise if an outside presenter is invited to present to your organization.

The materials used and the public presentation of the materials used in such a presentation can have legal consequences if any part of the presentation belongs to a copyright owner who has not given the necessary permission to use their copyrighted works. In 2024, we live in a digital age where these risks are ever growing due to increased reliance on online platforms to share content with colleagues, customers, and other members of the public.  

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Alberta et al v Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2024 FC 292 and the Voluntary Copyright Tariff Regime

Copyright sign cut-out on an urban background.

The Federal Court recently released its decision in Alberta et al v Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), 2024 FC 292, in which the Court confirmed that Copyright Board-approved tariffs are voluntary for users, upheld the statutory nature of copyright law, and affirmed freedom of speech protections afforded by parliamentary privilege. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of this Federal Court decision which followed the clear path laid out by the Supreme Court of Canada in its relatively recent copyright law jurisprudence.

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Opposition and Cancellation Proceedings Shifting Into Higher Gear in Canada

Notary public in office stamping document

Until recently, opposition and administrative cancellation proceedings in Canada have been particularly lengthy. It was not uncommon to see decisions being issued in non-use cancellation proceedings before the Canadian Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) 3-4 years after their start. Similarly, in many cases decisions in opposition proceedings would issue 5-6 years after the end of the initial 2 month period to oppose. This is not because these types of proceedings are particularly cumbersome in Canada. Contrary to US oppositions there is no discovery in oppositions and administrative cancellation proceedings, only cross-examinations on affidavit are possible. The availability of very generous extensions of time and long delays to set a hearing or to render a decision on the basis of a written record explain most of these delays. This is changing rapidly.

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