Entries by Douglas B. Thompson

Photographers Rights

Once or twice a month, we receive calls from photographers, regarding unauthorized use by a third party of one of their photographs. These calls often relate to a digital image that the photographer has posted online (e.g., on Facebook), that has subsequently been incorporated into a commercial website.Under Canada’s Copyright Act, a photograph is an […]

Using the name of your surname as a Trademark

Section 12(1)(a) of the Trademarks Act prohibits Trademarks that are “primarily merely the name or the surname of an individual who is living or has died within the proceeding 30 years. These provisions are discussed in the accompanying video. Transcript of above video For persons who are considering using their last name as a trademark, […]

Ownership Rights vs. Public Domain and User Rights

This article is intended to be a brief outline of aspects of Canadian law relating to intellectual property and the public domain.  When intellectual-property ownership rights exist in a product, a purchaser of the product will generally only obtain limited “user rights”.  In contrast, when something is in the “public domain” there are no ownership […]

Why You Should Care About Copyright

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that applies to literary works (deemed to include software), artistic works (e.g., graphic designs and web designs), musical works and dramatic works. Copyright protects the form of expression rather than the idea or content expressed.  For example, copyright protects the words of a novel (the expression), but not […]

Border Enforcement of IP Rights by Customs Officers

Businesses can obtain assistance from the United States government to prevent the importation of counterfeit goods into the United States (19 CFR 133).  On March 1, 2013 first reading was given to a proposed Canadian law (Bill C-56) which would give Canadian businesses a similar right to obtain assistance from the Canadian government to prevent […]

Division of Trademark With Long Lists of Products

Canadian Trademark law is based upon the principle of use.  Under current law, a business is unable to secure Registration of a Trademark unless the Trademark has been used with the good or services listed in the Trademark Application.  Where Trademark Application have a long list of goods or services, the Trademark Registration is often […]

Changes in Canadian Law Bring Unconventional Trademarks into the Mainstream

Through the years there have been attempts to obtain Trademark Protection for what have come to be known as “unconventional” Trademarks, such as sound, scents and moving images.  To date these “unconventional” Trademarks have not received a warm reception, as most applications for “unconventional” Trademarks are refused.  On March 1, 2013 Bill C-56 passed first […]