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Competition

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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CASL’s private right of action for Competition Act reviewable conduct

While much has been written about the impending CASL private rights of action, less has been said about the new private right of action CASL will tack on to the Competition Act for misrepresentations in electronic messages.

 

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Protecting trade secrets using non-disclosure agreements

In Canada, the issue of whether an NDA may be an unenforceable restraint of trade has been explored in the employment law context, however, there has been very little discussion as to whether an NDA could be considered a restraint of trade in transactions between two or more businesses. There has also been little discussion in Canada as to the distinction between trade secrets and ordinary confidential information. As such, US case law may provide some guidance.

 

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What’s in a slogan? Federal Court issues interlocutory injunction in trademark infringement case

The Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction restraining Sears from using the slogan “There is no reason to buy a mattress anywhere else”. Sleep Country owns two Canadian trademark registrations for the slogan “Why buy a mattress anywhere else?”. The slogan, and its accompanying musical jingle, have been used by Sleep Country in television, print, radio, and online advertising and promotional campaigns since 1994.

 

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Government legal and fiscal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec

On February 21, 2017, the Quebec government announced a plan to strengthen the Quebec economy as an executive-driven economy. The plan includes the enhancement of existing measures and the development of a number of new fiscal and legal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec and facilitate the transfer of family businesses, therefore limiting the risk of their sale to foreign interests. The key measures include:

 

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Copyright year in review 2016

This article highlights noteworthy Canadian copyright law decisions and developments from 2016.

 

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Trump at work, week one

The first week of Trump’s administration has revealed a highly activist White House, hewing with surprising fidelity to campaign promises. The pace of change is materially faster than anticipated and the implications may be felt sooner rather than later.

 

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Anti-money laundering update: Politically exposed persons

On December 20, 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations. A separate guideline was released for each of financial entities, securities dealers, life insurance companies, agents and brokers and money services businesses. The Guidelines will be effective June 17, 2017.

 

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