IP Connections

May/June 2011

The obviousness double standard

In the context of patentable inventions, the word "obvious" may have a subtly different meaning from the word "obvious" as used in common parlance. Understanding this subtlety may help the layperson better appreciate the prospects for obtaining a patent.

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Licensing your brand: it's all about control

Trademarks are valuable company assets and can be effective tools to maximize brand exposure and revenues through licensing. However, licensing arrangements can be fraught with peril if the rights of the parties are not clearly spelled out and can, in the worst case scenario, lead to a loss of trademark rights. Maintaining control over the character or quality of the goods produced or the services provided by the licensee is key to any proper trademark license arrangement in Canada.

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Canadian industrial design registrations — the article in the drawings vs. the design protected

An industrial design registration protects the features of shape, configuration, pattern and/or ornamentation in a finished article. An application for registration of an industrial design must be accompanied by detailed drawings showing the entire article, but there may be a competitive advantage in restricting the protection to only certain aspects of the design.

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Proper marking of your U.S.-patented products

When you obtain a U.S. patent, you will likely consider how to notify your competitors and others. One way is to mark your patented products with patent information. "Patent marking" is generally not required but recommended, particularly in the United States where it can be essential to maximize monetary damages that can be recovered by a patent owner in a patent infringement action. For Canadian companies commercializing products in the U.S. market, patent marking should therefore be an important consideration.

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The Quebec Charter of the French Language: What you need to know

For anyone doing business in Quebec, or considering doing so, it is important to carefully consider the Charter of the French Language (R.S.Q. c. C-11) and its ensuing regulations, as they establish a legal framework regarding language requirements for products, commercial publications and commercial advertising in Quebec.

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Recent developments in brief

Canadian Club fails to see humour in PETA cartoon

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Application for registration of TEACHER'S refused

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Bilingual Canadian deemed to be the mythical average consumer

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Requirement for "use" of a trademark for services clarified

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Rankings and recognitions

Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh chosen by Managing Intellectual Property as Canada's IP Firm of the Year, Trademark Firm of the Year, and recognized for success with the award for Canadian Case of the Year

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Firm dominates rankings in World Trademark Review 1000

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Firm tops the rankings in Canadian IP law in the 2011 edition of Chambers Global — The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

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Smart & Biggar

Contact information

To offer your feedback on this newsletter or any of its articles, please contact:

Keltie R. Sim (Editor)

Emma Start (Co-editor)

Peter A. Elyjiw (Co-editor)

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About Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh

With offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh is Canada's largest firm practising exclusively in intellectual property and technology law. We have been repeatedly recognized as Canada's leading IP firm in numerous surveys of Canadian and international intellectual property law practitioners and litigators, and we are proud to work alongside the world's most innovative corporations and leading law firms to protect, exploit and litigate their IP rights in Canada. For more information on our firms, please click here.

Disclaimer

The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property law. To request a copy of any decision, paper or legislative document, or for more detailed information or to make suggestions, kindly contact an author of the relevant article or the editor, Keltie R. Sim. The contents of this newsletter are informational only and do not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly. To join the IP Connections mailing list, be removed from the mailing list or make changes to contact information, please send an email to ipconnections@smart-biggar.ca.

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