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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Competition

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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Competition law issues for HR Professionals in Canada

Competition law

A company’s HR functions, such as recruitment and compensation, are not typically regarded as antitrust “hot spots” (as opposed to sales and marketing). Recent cases in the United States, however, highlight how hiring practices can create the risk of competition law violations for companies and their HR personnel. Since Canadian competition law is similar to U.S. antitrust law in these respects, it is important that Canadian HR professionals be aware of these risks and protect themselves and their companies from exposure.

 

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Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 & Season’s Greetings

We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016. Privacy issues and director’s liability seem to have been hot topics this year with several blog posts on the topics making it on the list. The top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 Director’s liability […]

 

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CASL made clearer: First CRTC decision released

Until now, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s CASL enforcement actions have taken the form of settlements reached in confidential negotiations between the Enforcement Branch and the company. But this decision, released on October 26, 2016, is significant because it is the first CASL enforcement decision to provide guidance on compliance. The decision contains several important lessons about regulation of commercial electronic messages in Canada before class action enforcement opens on July 1, 2017.

 

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CRTC’s reminder on record-keeping for CASL compliance

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued an enforcement advisory directing businesses and individuals to consider the importance of record-keeping pursuant to Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). Under CASL, the onus remains on the sender of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to demonstrate that it had the proper consents in place to send CEMs (whether implied or explicit).

 

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Proving consent under CASL: CRTC issues enforcement advisory notice

The Canadian Radio–television and Telecommunications Commission has issued an Enforcement Advisory notice directed to businesses and individuals that send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) as part of their commercial activities. Notably, the sender of CEMs must have the consent of the recipient to send them a message, or else the message is considered spam.

 

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Risk and how we run our business

I am going to use a metaphor involving the board game of Monopoly to illustrate how I feel about risk management. The players compete to win by either having more money when the game ends (if there is a time limit) or by being the only one left standing after all the others have gone bankrupt. Let’s imagine our executive team is playing a game against its main competitors.

 

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The art of restraint

A restrictive covenant is a class of legal “promise” imposing a restriction on one party for the benefit of another. When drafted correctly, restrictive covenants are an invaluable tool to protect your business.

 

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Private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

As of July 1, 2017, individuals and organizations will be entitled to institute a “private right of action” before the courts against those that contravene certain provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”). In the event of a contravention of the message rules in CASL, a monetary penalty up to a maximum of $1,000,000 per day may be imposed. This private right of action should be taken seriously right now. From this perspective and building on previous publications, this bulletin discusses this new mechanism.

 

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Be aware of potential liabilities when buying a business

In a recent decision, Gestion F. Lessard inc. v. Bournival, the Superior Court of Québec observed the potential liabilities involved in share purchase transactions — such as threats of litigation by unsatisfied customers, employee conflicts and software malfunction — and reminded us that not all potential liabilities can be imputed on the seller for fraud.

 

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