Proposed Changes to IP Law: Will they impact your business?

Many businesses rely on trade-mark, copyright, and patent law for the protection of their intellectual property (IP). The Federal Government recently proposed changes to IP laws, which may impact your business. Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 includes changes to the Copyright ActTrade-marks Act, and other IP legislation, as summarized below.

What is changing?

Trade-marks Act

Changes to this Act include:

  • The introduction of bad faithas a ground of opposition to the registration of a trademark, or to invalidate a registered trademark within three years of registration. These changes seek to prevent the abusive use of the trademark regime by those who register trademarks for the purpose of extracting payment from the legitimate owner of the trademark (similar to “cyber-squatters”).
  • New rules to allow the Registrar to award costs against parties for abusive practices during trademark registration proceedings.
  • Changes to help prevent “official marks” (badges, crests, emblems or marks) owned by government entities that no longer exist from creating obstacles to trademark registration.

Further information on the changes can be found here.

Copyright Act

Changes to this Act include:

  • The reform of the Copyright Board to expedite its decision-making process. The Board’s budget will be increased, and its mandate to be “fair and equitable” will be formalized.
  • New rules to require the Board to act informally and expeditiously, and to fix royalties and levy rates that are fair and equitable, considering (1) what a willing buyer and willing seller would agree to in an open market, and (2) the public interest.
  • The establishment of a case management process to facilitate the timely resolution of matters before the Board.

Further information on the changes can be found here.

Patent Act

Changes to this Act include:

  • New rules to prevent parties from sending deceptive or unsubstantiated patent demand letters (commonly known as “cease and desist letters”). These letters will be subject to new standards, and parties who receive deceptive letters that do not meet the standards will be able to seek redress from Canada’s Federal Court.
  • Changes to clarify that it is not an infringement of patent rights to conduct research on the subject matter of a patent.
  • Changes to “prior use rights” regarding patents so that a business is not required to cease operations if a patent is filed that covers its existing operations.

Further information on the changes can be found here.

Other changes

Other changes to IP legislation include:

  • The establishment of a College of Patent and Trademark Agents to regulate the conduct of IP agents. Further information on the College can be found here.
  • Changes to privacy and access to information legislation to recognize IP agent-client privilege. This means that communications between IP agents and their clients will be subject to the same protections as communications between lawyers and their clients (commonly known as “solicitor-client privilege”) under that legislation.

When will these changes take effect?

The above changes are subject to Bill C-86 being passed in its current form. It is currently before the House of Commons, and it must be approved by both the House and Senate to become law. The Bill’s progress, and dates that specific provisions of the Bill come into force, can be tracked here.

Further discussion

Stewart McKelvey’s Intellectual Property Law Group has extensive experience assisting clients to develop, protect and enforce their IP rights. If you would like to discuss the above changes or how they may impact your business, please contact a team member here.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type

 
 

New reporting requirements for beneficial ownership of federal corporations coming this June

May 24, 2019

Tauna Staniland, Andrea Shakespeare, Kimberly Bungay and Alycia Novacefski The federal government has introduced new record keeping requirements for private, federally formed corporations governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). The amendments to the…

Read More

Doctors must provide ‘effective referrals’ for medical services they oppose on religious grounds: Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 2019 ONCA 393

May 17, 2019

Health Group, Christopher Goodridge, Matthew Jacobs The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed in a decision released on May 15, 2019 that doctors must provide an ‘effective referral’ where they are unwilling to provide care on…

Read More

The road forward: Nova Scotia government announces and seeks input on further regulatory changes regarding funding of defined benefit pension plans

May 14, 2019

Level Chan and Dante Manna The Province of Nova Scotia is soliciting stakeholder input on significant regulatory changes to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) and Pension Benefits Regulations (“PBR”).  The solicitation is accompanied by a…

Read More

Protecting IP on the high seas – Innovation Supercluster Initiative, requires Intellectual Property Strategy

May 14, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry, Divya Subramanian and Matthew Jacobs The main asset of innovation is Intellectual Property. Applicants looking to participate in the Innovation Superclusters Initiative must be vigilant of their Intellectual Property. This article…

Read More

Changes to Canadian cannabis licensing application process

May 9, 2019

Kevin Landry Health Canada has announced changes to the cannabis licensing regime. These changes come ahead of the release of the cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals amendments to the Cannabis Regulations expected to be released…

Read More

Managing change in the workplace – constructive dismissal and the duty to mitigate

May 3, 2019

Grant Machum Last week’s Nova Scotia Court of Appeal’s decision in Halifax Herald Limited v. Clarke, 2019 NSCA 31, is good news for employers. The Court overturned the trial judge’s determinations that an employee had…

Read More

New Trade Union Act General Regulations addresses (in part) *snapshot* approach to construction industry unionization

May 2, 2019

Rick Dunlop On April 24, 2019, the Nova Scotia Government created the Trade Union Act General Regulations so that the Labour Board will no longer consider a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday as the date of…

Read More

Caution – Reform ahead for Newfoundland and Labrador automobile insurance

April 18, 2019

Rodney Zdebiak and Anthony Granville On Monday, April 15, 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature passed a number of changes to the Automobile Insurance Act (“Act”) stating that the intent is to help stabilize insurance rates,…

Read More

The Ocean Supercluster – Navigating Innovation Together

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs The Canadian government has placed itself in the “global innovation race”. In response to the demands for innovation, the Canadian government has established the Innovation Superclusters Initiative which…

Read More

No Compass Needed – Ocean Supercluster Activities Explained

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a co-investment initiative between Canada’s federal government and the private sector that is part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. As we wrote about in…

Read More

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type