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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Corporate Governance

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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Is there a duty of device security? U.S. regulator fires warning shot over obligations of IoT manufacturers

A complaint filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against D-Link Corporation, a Taiwanese computer networking equipment manufacturer, and its U.S. subsidiary, is raising questions about the extent of responsibility that networking equipment manufacturers may have for the security of their products, and how much of that responsibility rests with consumers and end users.

 

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The value of a risk register

A risk register makes you feel good. It makes you feel you have accomplished something, a list of risks that might cause harm to the organization. It makes the executive team and the board feel that they can check the box: “do you have a risk management program? Yes.” But, does that risk register help people formulate and then execute the right strategies for the organization to deliver optimal value?

 

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Missing comma means millions in overtime pay

The case involved an ambiguity in a Maine statute dealing with overtime pay. Under the statute, employees involved in certain activities were exempt from the overtime provisions, so they were not entitled to overtime pay. A group of drivers in Oakhurst argued that they were entitled to overtime pay.

 

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Risk in the fourth dimension

The word, a magic word with amazing power, is “why”. Let’s think of the power of this word when it comes to risk and risk management.

 

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Privacy law: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang

The Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision giving important guidance on when personal financial information may be disclosed under Canada’s federal privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

 

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Saskatchewan court upholds electronic waiver as enforceable

The decision in Quilichini v Wilson provides affirmation to business owners (especially those in the recreational industry) that a well–drafted electronic waiver and release that is properly presented in an understandable format will likely be held to be enforceable.

 

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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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$8 million awarded for employer retaliation claim following Whistleblower Report

While massive awards paid out by regulators to whistleblowers continue to dominate headlines, a U.S. jury recently awarded a significant damages award to a former employee who alleged that his employer retaliated against him after he reported misconduct.

 

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New guidance on operational risk

When an organization is focused on avoiding failure, it is very hard to be successful. Operational risk is basically about the things that can go wrong in day–to–day processes that can trip you up. It is impossible to eliminate such risk. The best you can hope for is to take a level of risk that is appropriate given the business and what it takes to be successful.

 

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Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments

With the highly anticipated release of its Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments, the Canadian government has finally shed some light on circumstances which may draw investors and parties involved in the investment into the realm of a national security review.

 

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Rectification requires prior agreement to succeed: Intention alone insufficient

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada held (by a 7–2 majority) that rectification of a written instrument requires the existence of a prior agreement amongst the parties, with definite and ascertainable terms. Courts may rectify an instrument if it fails to accurately record the agreement and the rectification of the instrument would record the parties’ prior agreement.

 

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How much cyber risk should an organization take?

I did a video with Joe McCafferty of MISTI last month. I am interested in whether you share my views. I also have some questions for you—after you watch the video.

 

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Where does a cause of action for patent infringement arise?

In Apotex Inc. v Astrazeneca Canada Inc., 2017 FCA 9, the Court of Appeal had to interpret section 39 of the Federal Courts Act in order to determine the appropriate limitation period for those patents that issued before a six–year limitation period was established by section 55.01 of the Patent Act in 1993.

 

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Volunteer falls off ladder and sues church

If a volunteer falls off a ladder, and there is no one around to see how or why they fell, who is liable? The Court in the following matter addresses this.

 

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