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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Competition

Protecting trade secrets when employees depart

Several recent court cases in the United States focus on the misappropriation of trade secrets by employees departing technology companies. These high profile American cases are a reminder that Canadian companies face the same issues.

 

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Linking risk management to results

The value that is created by an effective risk management is the confidence of the board and decision-makers in the information they use to make decisions.

 

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Six principles for effective risk management

In World-Class Risk Management, I review the eleven principles in the ISO 31000:2009 global risk management standard and condense them to just six.

 

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Survival of the fittest: How can technology help small businesses thrive?

Canada’s failure rate for small and medium sized businesses is staggeringly high. Around one half of small and medium sized businesses survive past five years, while 15% don’t last a year. Today’s smaller businesses face a daunting task. The complexities of today’s market have created new risks, and myriad laws and regulations that can overwhelm just about any sized business.

 

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PwC confuses boards on risk oversight

The report from PwC has a useful discussion about whether the organization’s disclosures about risk are complete and sufficient to satisfy investors.

 

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Processes to support information technology effectiveness reviews

This blog post reminds organizations that they should take the time to conduct information technology effectiveness reviews, to evaluate and improve the IT department’s role in achieving the organization’s goals.

 

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Federal court knocks TPM circumvention with significant damages award

In a major victory for Nintendo, the Federal Court of Canada awarded $12.7 million in damages for circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) and copyright infringement.

 

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Promise doctrine abolished by the Supreme Court of Canada

On June 30, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada, released a landmark patent decision (2017 SCC 36) abolishing Canada’s so-called ‘Promise Doctrine’ by finding it “unsound”, “not good law” and “incongruent with the both the words and scheme of the Patent Act.”

 

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R.I.P. border adjustment tax: Canadian implications

Recently, the so-called “Big 6” (comprised of key Republican leaders from the White House and Congress) released a short and fairly vague mission statement for their “shared vision” for U.S. tax reform. While it is only five paragraphs long, the Joint Statement on Tax Reform (the Joint Statement) delivered major relief to Canadian businesses.

 

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Upcoming corporate income tax changes to curb income sprinkling issues

On July 18, 2017, the federal Department of Finance released legislative proposals and a consultation paper dealing with tax planning affecting private corporations. The goal is to close loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians to avoid higher tax rates, largely by targeting people who incorporate themselves and then draw income from their businesses while paying lower corporate taxes. These proposals, if enacted, will potentially affect most Canadian business owners who carry on their businesses through private corporations, significantly increase the complexity of the tax rules applicable to private corporations and reverse many long-standing tax policies that have encouraged business growth.

 

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Why get an injunction anywhere else? Federal Court grants interlocutory injunction based on damage to goodwill and practical impossibility of calculating lost sales

This case and its discussion of the difficulty associated with the apportionment of lost sales may provide a path to an interlocutory injunction in cases with similar difficulties.

 

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Can marketing and compliance share a playbook?

I recently read an article in the Winter 2017 MIT Sloan Management Review, Mastering the Market Intelligence Challenge (Chari, Luce & Thukral). In this work, the authors address how “many multinationals simply import their domestic models into emerging markets.” And whilst this work is directed towards those who deal with market intelligence in emerging markets, the conclusions drawn are equally applicable to those who face compliance challenges in such frontier regions.

 

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Canada begins NAFTA consultations

These NAFTA consultations offer a significant opportunity for companies to have input on the primary drivers of their access to Canadian, US and Mexican markets. With the EU-Canada CETA coming into force in the coming months, Canada will be in the unique position of having preferential trading and investment relationships with the world’s two largest economies.

 

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Using your competitor’s trademarks as keywords? Proceed at your own risk

The Court of Appeal for British Columbia has issued an injunction restraining a party from using its competitor’s trademarks in its keyword advertising. While the Court of Appeal stopped short of finding that bidding on keywords in and of itself is contrary to the Trade-marks Act, it did find that in this case, the Defendant’s use of the Plaintiff’s trademarks as keywords in the visible text of its sponsored link was a misrepresentation likely to cause confusion to the public.

 

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Ontario Introduces Bill 142, Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017: It’s much more than just liens!

On May 31, 2017, Ontario Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi introduced Bill 142, entitled “Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017”. The Bill follows upon a report commissioned by the Ontario government and prepared by Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel entitled “Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario’s Construction Lien Act”. If enacted, the proposed legislation will introduce what is arguably the most sweeping set of changes that the Canadian construction industry has ever seen.

 

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