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Archive for ‘Firm Guest Blogger’

Automating Process: The Future of Profitable Law

The Canadian legal market is worth roughly $12 billion a year. That is a very big number – one that will certainly catch the attention of aggressive multi-national companies. A good portion of that $12 billion market involves the careful application by sophisticated lawyers of high-end skills, knowledge and analysis. But an equally large portion, I can say with certainty, involves the application of simple, standard, repeatable processes. We in the legal profession need to understand just how vulnerable we are to losing our share of that market.

Clients are not prepared to pay our traditional high fees for what . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger

Should Your Midsize Firm Hire a CEO?

One of the strangest habits of traditional law firms (which really means most law firms, if we’re being honest) is the tendency to take one of the firm’s most productive lawyers out of a practice he or she loves and appoint that lawyer to manage the firm.

It’s hard to fathom why we do this. We place these lawyers into a management role for which they were never trained, a role whose long-term strategic focus is directly at odds with lawyers’ natural tendency to dwell on details and solve the present problem. Then, once the managing partner’s term is complete, . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger

Social-Media Legal Practice

I would like to thank my colleagues at Harrison Pensa for being Firm Guest Bloggers on Slaw this week. Their articles focus on emerging issues both in substantive law, and the practice of law itself.

I’d like to share some thoughts on the emerging field of social media law, which includes both of those aspects.

Social media has created many challenges for business, including disparate issues such as violations of copyright, trade-marks, confidential information, and privacy, as well as pushing the boundaries on things such as defamation and employer control over employee actions.

Businesses, including law firms, are racing to . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger

Divorce and the Baby Boomers

Between 1993 and 2003, Canada’s overall divorce rate fell by more than 11%. The most recent statistics available, compiled in 2005 by Statistics Canada, indicated that the divorce rate was hovering around 40%.

However, the same study found that divorce rates for persons over 50 years of age had increased markedly. Similarly, a recent study conducted by Bowling Green State University confirmed that American divorce rates among couples over 50 had doubled within the last 20 years.

The conclusion is clear: Boomer marriages are falling apart at a growing rate, bucking an overall trend towards fewer divorces among members of . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger

Hunting the Elusive Class Action Trial: Results From a Survey

Until very recently, most knowledgeable class actions practitioners in Canada would have said that there have been very few full-blown class action trials in this country. The conventional view was that any plaintiff who could achieve a certification order in a class action would shortly arrive at a settlement agreement in the case. Trials and verdicts? Like Sasquatch, they were more frequently cited than sighted.

In 2011, after undertaking a well-contested 45-day class action trial of our own, and with another of our class action matters scheduled for trial shortly thereafter, my colleagues (Sarah Graham, Genevieve Meisenheimer, Lauren Nielsen) and . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger

Firm Guest Blogger: Harrison Pensa

It’s been a while since Slaw invited a law firm to blog with us for a week, but we’re happy to say that the firm of Harrison Pensa has agreed to help us break that fast. They’ll be joining our regular bloggers each day this coming week. Harrison Pensa LLP is a mid-size, full-service law firm headquartered in London, Ontario, with an office in Toronto. Known for its expertise in litigation and business law, Harrison Pensa also offers a strong consumer focus in family, wills and estate, and personal injury law.

Of course, you’ll recognized one member of the firm . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Firm Guest Blogger

Traffic Report: Patent Prosecution Highway
Faster, Cheaper Patents

A Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) program was implemented between the Canadian and US patent offices in 2008 to accelerate patent examination and issuance. Under the PPH, an applicant with allowable claims in either a US or Canadian patent application may request that the other country’s patent office provide a fast track examination to the corresponding application. The sharing of search and examination results between offices is intended to expedite and improve the quality of examination.

As an example of how the PPH works, if a US patent application is examined and claims are approved as patentable (“allowable”) by the US . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law: Legislation

Patentable? the Issue of Software and Business Methods

When should software and business methods be patentable, if ever? Two courts are currently grappling with this very question. In the United States, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision in Bilski v. Kappos within weeks. In Canada, the Federal Court recently heard oral arguments in Amazon.com, Inc. v. The Attorney General of Canada et al, the Amazon 1-Click appeal. Both cases are likely to shape the patent landscape for years to come.

Previous developments

Previous decisions in Bilski and Amazon both conspicuously broke with established patentability requirements and led to the current appeals. Each discarded earlier . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Disclaimers in Canada

In Canada, under s. 48(1) of the Patent Act, a patentee can disclaim portions of an issued patent if “by mistake, accident or inadvertence, and without any willful intent to defraud or mislead the public,” the patentee has “made a specification too broad, claiming more than that of which the patentee… was the inventor.” Disclaimers can be filed to correct errors in patents and can be used to enhance the validity of existing claims by narrowing the claims based on newly discovered prior art. However, patentees should proceed with caution, as disclaimers filed in the wrong manner, or for . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“Rolling” Anton Piller Order Set Aside: “John Doe” Action Dismissed

The decision in Vinod Chopra Films Private Limited et al. v. John Doe 2010 FC 387 by Hughes, J. concerns a review of a “rolling” Anton Piller order granted by the Federal Court of Canada in a copyright infringement case to an Indian film production company and its Canadian licensee against various un-named persons who (according to the claim) “deal in counterfeit video recordings.”

Pursuant to Justice Zinn’s Order of January 26, 2010, the plaintiffs seized allegedly counterfeit copies of a film entitled “3 Idiots” from a number of defendants who then sought review of the Order.

An Anton Piller . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Firm Guest Blogger: Bereskin & Parr

I’m pleased to be able to tell you that this coming week we have a firm guest blogger joining us. Bereskin & Parr is a leading Canadian IP firm with offices in Toronto, Montréal, Mississauga, and the Waterloo Region. They’ve provided us with the following description:

Founded in 1965, Bereskin & Parr LLP serves clients in over 100 countries worldwide. With more than 260 people, including more than 70 lawyers, patent and trade mark agents, Bereskin & Parr and its award-winning professionals are consistently rated in Canada as the benchmark for intellectual property law.

The firm has dedicated practice groups

. . . [more]
Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger