Canadian Appeals Monitor Information and Commentary on Upcoming and Recent Appeal Court Decisions

Category Archives: Intellectual Property

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The SCC Monitor (02/08/2016)

A Commentary on Recent Legal Developments by the Canadian Appeals Monitor

Posted in Intellectual Property, Oil and Gas, Professions, The SCC Monitor

Since our last post, the Supreme Court has granted and denied leave in a few significant cases that will be of interest to our readers.

Leave to Appeal Granted

Auditor Liability: Livent Inc v Deloitte & Touche

The SCC granted leave to appeal from the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Livent Inc v Deloitte & Touche, 2016 ONCA 11, which is an important decision concerning the liability of auditors for negligence.… Continue Reading

When is a Settlement Agreement Reached? Federal Court of Appeal Provides Guidance in Apotex Inc v Allergan Inc, 2016 FCA 155

Posted in Case Comments, Intellectual Property

In today’s litigation landscape 95% to 97% of all civil cases are settled without a trial.[1] Settlement negotiations increasingly happen informally, over email, through a back-and-forth dialogue between counsel. What happens when one party steadfastly believes a settlement was reached and moves to enforce that settlement and the other party disagrees? This was the situation before the Federal Court of Appeal in Apotex Inc v Allergan Inc, where a collection of “without prejudice” letters and emails formed the basis for Allergan Inc (“Allergan”) to argue that Apotex Inc (“Apotex”) had agreed to settle a patent … Continue Reading

Missing the Mark – Federal Court of Appeal set aside dismissal in passing off and copyright case

Posted in Case Comments, Intellectual Property

In Sadhu Singh Hamdard Trust v. Navsun Holdings Ltd. (2016 FCA 69), the Court of Appeal set aside the Federal Court’s (2014 FC 1139) decision dismissing Hamdard Trust’s claim of copyright infringement and passing off against Navsun Holdings and remitted the matter to the Federal Court for redetermination, with some guidance.… Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Citruses: BCCA weighs in on when an abuse of process claim is ripe for determination

Posted in Case Comments, Civil Litigation, Intellectual Property

When will seeking injunctive relief against a non-party amount to abuse of process? At what stage in a proceeding should that determination be made? The British Columbia Court of Appeal addressed these questions in Tangerine Financial Products Limited Parternship v. The Reeves Family Trust, the result being that it is easier, both substantively and procedurally, for non-parties to oppose such remedies on a preliminary basis.… Continue Reading

The Aereo Decision – Canadian Content?

Posted in Case Comments, Intellectual Property

The following post on the snIP/ITs blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: The Aereo Decision – Canadian Content?

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision in American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. et al v. Aereo, Inc. that Aereo’s Internet retransmission service infringes copyright. McCarthy Tétrault played a small role by filing an amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of international rights holders and copyright scholars that drew the Court’s attention to the need to interpret the US Copyright Act in a technologically neutral way, as similar copyright laws have … Continue Reading

What will Justice Nadon’s appointment bring to the Supreme Court?

Posted in Aboriginal, Administrative, Charter of Rights, Class Actions, Competition, Intellectual Property, Tax


Earlier this week, the Prime Minister surprised many Supreme Court-watchers by nominating the Honourable Marc Nadon to replace Justice Fish at the Supreme Court of Canada. Given this recent appointment, the Canadian Appeals Monitor has taken a look at Nadon J.’s jurisprudential legacy to date and identified key cases which illustrate his judicial leanings, especially as it applies to Canadian businesses and professions. The Canadian Appeals Monitor has also looked at some of the cases that Nadon has argued to get better insights into what kind of judge he is likely to be in the Supreme Court. 

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UK Supreme Court Confirms – No Breach of Confidence without a Breach… or Confidence

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing


In a knowledge economy protection of trade secrets is critical to a corporation’s continued success and profitability. The misuse of trade secrets by competitors can be devastating to a corporation’s position in the marketplace. That is particularly true when it is ex-employees who are misusing trade secrets to compete against their former employer. In such circumstances, numerous remedies are available to employers including a civil action for breach of confidence.

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Compliance Not Optional: Crown Not Immune from Copyright Act

Posted in Case Comments, Intellectual Property, Media

Is the Crown immune from paying tariffs under the Copyright Act? On March 31, 2004 and March 31, 2009, the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, operating as Access Copyright, filed proposed tariffs claiming royalties for the reproduction of published works by employees of the provincial and territorial governments other than Quebec. The provinces and territories objected to the tariffs and, as a preliminary matter, challenged the ability of the Copyright Board of Canada to consider the proposed tariffs claiming they were immune from the Copyright Act. The Board dismissed this challenge on January 5, 2012, and some of the

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A Further Limitation on the Ability of the Generic Drug Companies to Chase the Profits of Innovators?

Posted in Case Previews, Intellectual Property

Can a generic drug company bring an action for disgorgement of profits when an innovator pharmaceutical company is ultimately unsuccessful in invoking the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations?  That question is now going to be determined by the Divisional Court, according to a recent decision that strikes another blow to generic drug companies in this ongoing debate.… Continue Reading

This Week at the SCC (14/12/2012)

Posted in Aboriginal, Communications, Conflict of Laws, Health, Intellectual Property, Labour and Employment, Media, Professions, Regulatory, The SCC Monitor

Cases Decided

The Supreme Court of Canada released one decision this week of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Reference re Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-167 and Broadcasting Order CRTC 2010-168, 2012 SCC 68, Rothstein J. for the majority of the Court held that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) lacked the jurisdiction to create a market-based “value for signal” regime.  The proposed regime would have enabled private local television stations (“broadcasters”) to negotiate direct compensation for the retransmission of their signals by broadcast distribution undertakings (“BDUs”), such as cable and satellite companies, and to prohibit

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This Week at the SCC (30/11/2012)

Posted in Bankruptcy and Debt, Intellectual Property, Labour and Employment, Professions, Securities, The SCC Monitor

Cases Decided

The Supreme Court of Canada released one decision this week of interest to Canadian businesses and professions.

In Construction Labour Relations v. Driver Iron Inc., 2012 SCC 65, the Court held the Alberta Court of Appeal erred in quashing a decision of the Alberta Labour Relations Board on judicial review.  The Court’s brief judgment criticizes the Court of Appeal for taking an overly rigid approach to the Board’s reasons when finding that the Board failed to consider various issues of statutory interpretation under the Alberta Labour Relations Code.

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Infringing via the Unspoken: Marlboro Appeal Increases Scope of Confusion for Trade-marks Infringement

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Intellectual Property

In an eagerly anticipated decision, the Federal Court of Appeal has allowed in part Imperial Tobacco’s unique infringement lawsuit against Philip Morris in the Marlboro Canada Ltd. v. Philip Morris Products S.A. decision. This  lawsuit involved the first cigarette package in the world that bore no brand name, with the plaintiff claiming instead that the visual appearance and idea of the package evoked its registered trade-mark MARLBORO. This theory has now won out on appeal, and may increase the ability of registered trade-mark owners to target competitors evoking the idea of their brands without actually employing the key marks.

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“Idea Theft” Lawsuits Gain New Life in United States

Posted in Case Comments, Contracts, Intellectual Property, Media


In a case with several important echoes to Canadian appellate law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has revived the actor’s Hayden Christensen’s “idea theft” lawsuit against the USA Network this week in the Forest Park Pictures v. Universal Television Network Inc. decision.


In 2005, the plaintiffs developed a concept for a television show called “Housecall,” in which a doctor, after being expelled from the medical community for treating patients who could not pay, moved to Malibu, California, and became a “concierge” doctor to the rich and famous. The plaintiffs created a written series … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Hears YouTube DMCA Cases

Posted in Case Comments, Communications, Intellectual Property, Media

In mid-October, the influential United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in a $1-billion battle over the responsibility of Internet intermediaries for infringing content posted by third parties on their systems. The appeal in Viacom Intl. v. YouTube Inc. involves crucial questions that may have a ripple effect on litigation taking place across the world. Along with the Veoh case being heard by the Ninth Circuit and the iiNet appeal being heard by the High Court of Australia this year, the results in the YouTube appeals will set important ground rules for Internet litigation for … Continue Reading

SCC to Rule on Movie Soundtracks

Posted in Case Previews, Intellectual Property

In the appeal of Re:Sound v. Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada will be called upon to determine whether there is a right to equitable remuneration under section 19 of the Copyright Act when a pre-existing sound recording is incorporated in the soundtrack that accompanies a motion picture or a television program. The Copyright Board of Canada decided that there is no such right in this situation, and the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the application for judicial review.… Continue Reading

Defence Contractor Appeals Disclosure of Contractual Information

Posted in Administrative, Case Comments, Intellectual Property

In a case that will be of interest to any parties involved in government procurement, Top Aces Consulting Inc. is appealing the decision of the Federal Court to permit the disclosure of pricing information pursuant to s. 44 of the Access to Information Act. Top Aces is an airborne training services contractor that had been awarded several contracts through a standing offer process at the Department of National Defence (DND). In October 2009, the DND received an access to information request for all standing offers and contracts awarded to Top Aces since 2003. This led to a judicial review … Continue Reading