IP & Internet Law in 2007 (Part 2)

Internet Trends

User-generated content (not only from blogs and YouTube, but also from Reuters and the BBC) is on the rise. 

As users continue to mash-up their own content with content borrowed from elsewhere, the intellectual property fur will continue to fly.  Expect copyright battles, trade-mark skirmishes and technological protection measures to make headlines as ordinary citizens test the boundaries of  “user-rights” vs. copyright.

Trade-marks 

There are not too many areas of the economy where branding and corporate identity are not a critical issue.  The Supreme Court of Canada weighed in on two significant trade-mark cases in 2006: the court reviewed “famous marks” in the Barbie case (Mattel Inc. v. 3894207 Canada Inc), and in the case of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin v. Boutiques Cliquot Ltee.  Trade-marks will continue to overlap with internet law and inter-jurisdictional issues, as we have seen in cross-border disputes such as the Pro-Swing vs. Elta case.

Domain Names 

Trade-mark owners can’t rest as domain name battles become a full-time occupation.  Some developments are helpful: WIPO issued its Overview of Panel Views which serves as a useful guide for those engaged in UDRP disputes.  Other developments are less encouraging: consider how the click-through ad-revenue system favours cybersquatters who can turn a quick profit from domain names which capitalize on the reputation of brand owners.  Microsoft’s battle with these cybersquatters will be interesting to watch as the law continues to play catch-up with technology.

 

Thanks to all of our readers in 2006.  We will continue posting in 2007.

Calgary – 09:25 MST

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