Entries by Douglas B. Thompson

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 […]

New Canadian Patent Guidelines on Computer Implemented Inventions

All patent offices are wrestling with setting rules as to when a “method” should be patentable.  A method that has a series of computer implemented steps has been considered to be good subject matter for invention.  On March 8, 2013, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) issued guidelines as to when a computer implemented invention […]

New Canadian Patent Guidelines on Purposive Construction

In the Amazon.com case, the Court was highly critical of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for not using “purposive construction” of patents.  On March 8, 2013, CIPO issued new guidelines for Patent Examiners regarding “purposive construction”.  Guideline 1 requires the Examiner to use a “fair, balanced and informed approach” to understand the background knowledge […]

A Discussion Of Patent Strategy

The end objective for an established business is to develop and launch a product or service that captures substantial market share and returns a profit to the business.  When considering patent protection, I strongly recommend that the established business invest in the best patent search available.  The reason for this recommendation is that the business […]