Intellectual Property Law in 2011


Thanks 2010, intellectual property and internet law had an interesting ride. Here are a few issues to watch in 2011:

Canadian Copyright Reform and Anti-Spam Law:  Around this time last year, we predicted that copyright reform wouldn’t come to Canada until 2011 at the earliest. So far that appears to be holding true. However, Canada did make headway in the anti-spam department, with the passing of the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (hardly a poetic name, but we’ll take what we can get from Ottawa).  Canada’s anti-spam legislation received royal assent on December 15, 2010.  Meanwhile, the Canadian copyright reform bill was introduced in 2010 and the debate will continue when Parliament resumes at the end of January.

And the courts continue to tackle copyright issues piece by piece. News came in late December that a copyright “fair dealing” case will be going to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2011 (SOCAN v Bell).

Clean Tech Law: 2011 may prove to be a break-out year for Canadian Clean Tech companies, as private investment and government incentives provide a boost to companies in this technology-intense sector.  The law surrounding the uses, protection and licensing of clean technologies in Canada will gain traction in 2011.

App Law: This fascinating area of law shows no signs of slowing, as app developers continue to push the boundaries in their use of copyright materials, trade-marks and personal information of consumers, as the technology gallops forward. In December another iPhone-related class action suit was announced, naming Apple and a number of app developers as defendants (Lalo v. Apple, Inc et al, case 5:10-cv-05878).

Business Method Patents: We predicted that some clarity would come out of the Bilski review (in the US) and the Amazon 1-click patent (in Canada). In the US, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Bilski review, generally upholding the lower court decision, but cautioning that the machine-or-transformation test is not the only patentability test to be applied.  In Canada, the decision in October in the Amazon case upheld the patentability of business method patents, but the waters were immediately muddied again, when it was announced in November that the decision was being appealed (See: Amazon Business Method Case to be Appealed).

Calgary – 07:00 MST

No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.