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.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) continues to provide updates on the continuing disruption to IP office deadlines under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As we reported previously, March 16th to July 17th were considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation; the time to respond to certain CIPO actions therefore had been extended to July 20th.
On July 15th, CIPO announced that July 20th, 2020 to August 7th, 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 10th, 2020.
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 7th 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.
Fasken has also established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Knowledge Centre. Given the number of cases of COVID-19 in North America, and continued uncertainty around the world, organizations must plan to manage the impact on their operations and workforces, as well as protect their employees, their families and communities. Ensuring the health and safety of our people, clients and business partners is Fasken’s top priority.
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.