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Archive for March, 2019

New Trademarks Rules Require a Different Approach for Swag

Including promotional items in trademark use descriptions will require a different approach under the new trademark rules. On June 17, 2019, the Trademarks Act and the registration process are changing dramatically. Trademark applications will have to classify the goods and services in the use description according to the international Nice classifications. There are 34 classifications of goods, and 11 classes of services.

Trademark filing fees and trademark renewal fees will be class based. Applications containing more than 2 classes of goods and services, and all renewals, will be more expensive than they are now.

Conventional wisdom was to include promotional . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Bowman v. Martineau, 2019 ONSC 1468

[213] I reject the diminution in value approach for the following reasons. This approach fails to take into account the purpose of damages in a tort claim – to ensure that “the damages awarded to a plaintiff should put him or her in the same position as they would have been in had they not sustained . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Bill C-75 Goes to the Senate, Still Threatens Student Legal Clinics

Bill C-75, the Criminal Code amendment statute, passed the House of Commons in late 2018, and has received first reading in the Senate.

The bill could wipe out the criminal law practices in student legal clinics in most provinces across Canada. For decades now, student legal clinics across Canada have been representing low income persons for summary conviction criminal offences. These clients are not eligible for legal aid, and would be unrepresented except for the work done by law students to assist them. Each year, hundreds of low income persons will be left to defend themselves.

Why has this happened? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Figuring Out Where to Go With a Complaint: Different Answers in Academia and Unionized Workplaces

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal case reaffirmed that for certain purposes, academic complaints are properly brought to court, rather than addressed in university internal processes. In Lam v. University of Western Ontario, 2019 ONCA 82, the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed Lam’s appeal from the decision of a motions judge that his complaint should have been brought as a complaint to the university and not as a claim for damages in superior court. The test for determining where to bring the complaint, said the court, is not the nature of the dispute (here, academic), but “whether the genuine . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Introducing the Osgoode Certificate in Handling Summary Conviction Offence Cases

Why Now?

Knowledge of summary conviction offences is more important than ever. Summary convictions are predominately the largest criminal work in the provincial court (ON) accounting for over 98%. Further, it is expected that an expansion of summary conviction offence cases will be coming down the pipeline, and Canadians will soon see changes in the limitation period and punishments in summary convictions.


As a legal professional who defends or prosecutes summary conviction offences, it’s important that you have a clear grasp on how to effectively advocate your case. You may be experienced in court, but have you ever received . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Calling for Greater Public Accountability in Big Pharma‘s Patent Collaborations

My beat on is typically, if not all too predictably, the copyright trials and tribulations of scholarly communication. I’d be the first to admit that matters of access to this body of knowledge are relatively straightforward compared to what takes place next door with patent licensing, especially when pharmaceuticals are involved. Still, such patents disputes, which often involve government, university, and industry, can shed light on my interests in legal reforms that restore some part of intellectual property law’s original intent to promote the progress of science and encourage learning for the benefit of all.

This has led me . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Miscellaneous Misuses
Neil Guthrie

Shut down, shutdown: Don’t confuse these. You shut down your computer in anticipation of the firmwide shutdown by the IT department. On a similar footing, log in and login. Surveil: This is like the awful liaise. Surveil is a misguided back-formation from surveillance, but an ugly and unnecessary one; just say watch or follow. …


Finding RSS Feeds for Podcasts and . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

No Bitcoin Fund in Ontario, Says OSC

Last month the Ontario Securities Commission refused to approve a prospectus for a fund that proposed to invest in bitcoin. The investment did not have enough liquidity, i.e. investors could not be certain enough that they could sell their investment when they wanted to. A summary is here.

The OSC also had concerns about the valuation of bitcoin (surprise!) and its safekeeping. Given the number of thefts of cryptocurrency in recent years, and the Quadriga mess, the latter concern may be justified as well.

What do you think? Is the OSC just doing its job, or is it not . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. BC Injury Law Blog 2. PierreRoy & Associés 3. Eva Chan 4. Susan On The Soapbox 5. Lash Condo Law

BC Injury Law Blog
$170,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Hip Injury, PTSD, TOS and Chronic Pain

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

BDS and Terrorism Sympathies as Fair Comment

When the Ontario’s Libel and Slander Act was amended in 2015 under the Protection of Public Participation Act, the explicit purpose of implementing the 2010 recommendations by the Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel. Since that time, the interpretation of these provisions continue to evolve.

This past week, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in Lascaris v. B’nai Brith Canada, overturning the decision of the Superior Court of Justice that had granted the anti-SLAPP motion under s. 137.1(3) of the Courts of Justice Act to dismiss the action.

Justice Rady of the Superior Court outlined the public interest purpose . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

ACTION COLLECTIVE (RECOURS COLLECTIF) : Sauf en ce qui a trait au calcul des intérêts et de l’indemnité additionnelle, la Cour d’appel confirme le jugement de première instance dans l’action collective ayant condamné les compagnies canadiennes de cigarettes au paiement de plusieurs milliards de dollars en dommages compensatoires et punitifs. . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

“Family Justice in Canada Is at a Breaking Point” Redux*

The fees charged by many family law lawyers are out of reach for even middle-income Canadians and, in some underserved areas of the country, there aren’t enough family law lawyers to meet the needs of even those who can afford their services. As a result, an enormous number of people are entering the court system without the benefit of counsel, some by choice but most by necessity. However, the court system is difficult to navigate, even for those with an advanced education. Further layers of complexity are added by the intertwining of legislation and uncodified case law that is characteristic . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues