Intellectual Property

A charitable donation as part of a settlement creates goodwill

Toronto intellectual property and charity/not-for-profit lawyer Taras Kulish says that negotiating a charitable donation as part of a settlement in an intellectual property dispute can create a win-win situation for both parties involved. Read more

Store brand packaging similarities may violate trademark

The similar look of Dollarama’s three store-brand chocolate bars to the well-known Mars, Snickers and Bounty bars could constitute a violation of Mars Inc.’s trademark and copyright, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells Yahoo! Canada Finance. Read more

Difficult to prove artwork plagiarized

Claims by an American artist that an installation for the Pan Am Games in Toronto is a rip off of his work would face difficult hurdles if the case went to court on copyright infringement, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson . Read more

Pan Am Games hashtag trademark difficult to enforce

While the trademarking of hashtagged words has grown in popularity in recent years, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says enforcement is extremely difficult for several reasons. Read more

'Instagram artist' could be challenged in Canadian court

A U.S.-based artist’s unauthorized use of other people’s Instagram photos — which has a Toronto connection — could potentially be challenged in Canada, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. Read more

Canadian broadcasters catching on to size of VPN problem

A Bell Media executive’s recent comments calling Canadians’ use of geoblocking devices to watch U.S. Netflix “stealing” are a sign that large broadcasters are finally acknowledging the extent of the problem, says Toronto lawyer Kevin Fisher. Read more

Viral Internet memes create interesting IP issues

The power and speed with which social media can disseminate popular catchphrases and images, also known as memes, has presented interesting legal issues, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson writes in The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Copyright extension proposed for sound recordings

The federal budget contains a proposed amendment that would extend the current copyright protection of sound recordings, which will primarily have implications for record companies, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. Read more

A brief history of passing off

By John Simpson . The Federal Court’s recent decision in Red Label Vacations Inc. ( v. 411 Travel Buys Limited ( , 2015 FC 19 is the latest in a series of Canadian cases to address the tort of passing off in the context of website domain names and meta tags. And it is a departure from where things had appeared to be headed, at least with respect to “initial interest confusion.” Read More at Shift Law Blog Read more

Sixth time in Pro-Am event for Fisher, Basman Smith team

Toronto lawyer Kevin Fisher will once again be participating in the Scotiabank Baycrest Pro-Am hockey tournament this year, as captain of the Basman Smith LLP team. Read more

Lawsuit blurs lines between inspiration, reproduction

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says that if the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit had been a Canadian case, things would have played out quite differently in court. Read more

Clearing dead wood from the trademarks register

By John Simpson . What can you do when you want to use or register a trademark that someone else has already registered but who, you suspect, is no longer using it? This was the issue recently facing one of Shift Law’s clients. They had been using the trademark, BROADVIEW, in association with their financial services for years. But, when they went to register it, they discovered that it was already registered for financial services in Canada by a large U.S. institution. Read More at Shift Law Blog Read more

Social media adds an interesting layer to IP disputes

Social media’s ability to quickly make pictures and phrases popular is a fire that fuels the value of intellectual property, says Toronto trademark agent and IP lawyer John Simpson. Read more

Viral catchphrases, nicknames are good candidates for trademarks

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman recently trademarked the phrase “Height Doesn't Measure Heart” — as well as the acronym “HDMH” — in a growing trend of professional athletes trademarking nicknames and one-liners, reports the Toronto Star . Read more

Make a new year's resolution to register your trademarks

Toronto IP lawyer and registered trademark agent John Simpson says now is the time for businesses to register their trademarks. Read more