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Intellectual Property

Government's IP strategy a boon to Canadian SMEs

The federal government’s Intellectual Property Strategy is a positive initiative for Canadian businesses — in particular, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells AdvocateDaily.com. The…

trademark

Drake's bid to limit DJ's trademark rights deep-sixed

The Trade-Mark Opposition Board held that a DJ represented by Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson is entitled…

trademark

Intoxicating IP Part 2: Cannabis

In Part 2 of the of our mini-series on IP issues for companies selling “sin” products Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson explores Canada’s emerging cannabis sector. Brand owners who want to make a mark in Canada’s recreational marijuana industry face unique…

trademark

Intoxicating IP Part 1: Microbreweries

In part 1 of our mini-series on IP issues for companies selling “sin” products Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson explores the burgeoning microbrewery industry. Startup microbreweries should be thinking about trademarks before they run into problems with…

trademark

MLSE wants Snoop to drop 'Leafs' logo like it's hot

The latest trademark faceoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and rapper Snoop Dog will be one to watch on both sides of the border, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells AdvocateDaily.com. CTV…

trademark

Outlook good for rights holders seeking trademark injunctions

The bar for achieving an interlocutory injunction in trademark infringement matters may be coming down, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells 

trademark

McDonald's vigilant in enforcing trademark rights

Unauthorized use of McDonald’s “Mc” trademark can depreciate the value of the goodwill in McDonald’s registered marks, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells 

trademark

Store brand packaging similarities may violate trademark

The similar look of Dollarama’s three store-brand chocolate bars to the well-known Mars, Snickers and Bounty bars could constitute a violation of Mars Inc.’s trademark and copyright, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells 

trademark

Registrants not necessarily domain name owners

In a summary judgment that carries important lessons for small businesses, the Ontario Superior Court recently confirmed that registering a domain name does not always equal ownership, says Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson, who successfully represented…

trademark

Viral catchphrases, nicknames are good candidates for trademarks

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman recently trademarked the phrase “Height Doesn't Measure Heart” — as well as the acronym “HDMH” — in a growing trend of professional athletes trademarking nicknames and one-liners, reports the 

Intellectual Property

Use of memes can give rise to numerous IP issues

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says there’s never a simple answer to whether it’s legally OK to use a meme. “A meme — essentially a funny image or video that is copied, modified and rapidly spread…

trademark

Use of competitor’s metatags supports claim for elevated costs

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court is of particular interest to trademark lawyers as it deals with using metatags of a competitor’s trademarks, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. “The…

Intellectual Property

Understanding the value of IP for small businesses

Every small business owns intellectual property, Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson of Shift Law pointed out at the start of a presentation he delivered at City Hall on Feb. 5, hosted…

trademark

Trademark trolls will be stymied by new legislation

Amendments to Canada’s Trademarks Act are bad news for trolls, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells AdvocateDaily.com. The changes are contained in 

trademark

Trademark decision promotes product placement

A recent trademark decision may prompt lawyers to encourage clients to push product placement in movies and TV shows, Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson says in 

trademark

Snoop Dogg, Maple Leafs could face off over mark registration

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says a trademark registered by rapper and cannabis enthusiast Snoop Dogg could face opposition from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 

trademark

Tangerine case shows value of registering trademarks

A small financial service company’s battle against Scotiabank over its use of the Tangerine name highlights the importance of pursuing a trademark application to completion, says Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson. In a case before the…

trademark

Taco Tuesday' trademark may not be distinctive enough to enforce

A trademark has to be “distinctive” of a single brand to be valid and enforceable, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells 

Intellectual Property

Strong branding best defence against imitators for unpatentable products

Strong branding is the best defence against copycat products when patenting isn’t an option, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. While it may be tempting for manufacturers to claim patentable…

trademark

Simpson discusses changes to Trademarks Act

Canada's amended Trademarks Act is expected to come into force by the end of the year, and with it comes major changes, Toronto IP lawyer and registered trademark agent 

trademark

Ruling an example of courts favouring well-known brands

The Federal Court of Canada’s recent move to allow Harley-Davidson to continue to use its trademark in Canada in spite of a Canadian firm’s use of a similar trademark is the latest case that shows the court’s trend of ruling in favour of well-known brands, says Toronto IP lawyer John…

trademark

Protect trademark interests ahead of legislative changes

Changes are coming to Canada's trademark laws and holders of proprietary titles should review their registered holdings with counsel, Toronto intellectual property lawyer 

trademark

Pan Am Games hashtag trademark difficult to enforce

While the trademarking of hashtagged words has grown in popularity in recent years, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says enforcement is extremely difficult for several reasons. Simpson makes his comments…

Intellectual Property

LSUC certifies Simpson as intellectual property law specialist

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson has been certified as a specialist in trademark and copyright law by the Law Society of…

trademark

Viral Internet memes create interesting IP issues

The power and speed with which social media can disseminate popular catchphrases and images, also known as memes, has presented interesting legal issues, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson writes in 

trademark

IP’s ‘nuclear weapon’ blows up booze logo

An Ottawa distillery fell victim to the “nuclear weapon” of Canada’s Trade-marks Act after the provincial government asked it to change its logo, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer 

trademark

FCA sets out right approach in luggage trademark confusion case

The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) set out the right approach to resolving the issue of trademark confusion in a recent case involving a Canadian luggage company and a Swiss firm, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells 

trademark

Entry into Madrid Protocol opens the world to Canadian trademark owners

With long-awaited reforms to the Trademarks Act coming into effect June 17, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says Canada’s entry into the Madrid Protocol is exciting for both trademark practitioners…

trademark

Early opposition saves money and time in trademark process

Rights holders can save themselves time and money by opposing trademarks before they’re registered, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells AdvocateDaily.com. In a recent Federal Court 

trademark

Decision an important precedent for gripe site operators

Operators of gripe sites and their targets have an important new precedent for determining when criticism using someone else’s IP crosses the line to become infringement, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson writes…

trademark

Check trademark database or lawsuit may follow

A ‘David vs. Goliath’ battle that recently played out over a bicycle-related name shows the importance of doing your research before adopting a trademark, says Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson. The case centres around a Canadian war veteran…

Intellectual Property

Challenge to define property rights on social media

As intellectual property (IP) laws have been around for decades, they are not always well-suited to resolving online IP disputes — and specifically, it is often difficult to assign and define property rights on social media, Toronto intellectual property lawyer 

trademark

Buzz around Harry Potter-themed bar could trigger IP issues

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says the media buzz surrounding a local Harry Potter-influenced bar could potentially cause trademark and copyright woes for the bar's owners. The 

trademark

Brewer shouldn’t take Muskoka chair dispute sitting down

When protecting your company’s valuable brand, you should be prepared to fight for it, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. Simpson, principal of IP and new media law boutique 

trademark

Automaker protecting its logo from use by Ford

Ford Motor Co. has said it will protect its script and oval logo from being used by supporters of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – a move that will have to be taken carefully so the company isn’t seen in a negative light, says Toronto IP lawyer John…

trademark

Best to file evidence no matter how strong your case is

Parties in trademark disputes should always put their best foot forward and file evidence to support their position no matter how confident they are, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson tells AdvocateDaily.com. That’s…

Intellectual Property

Appeal court endorses trial judges' procedural discretion in food fight

A recent Court of Appeal judgment reinforces trial judges’ wide discretion to decide procedural issues, says Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson. Simpson, principal of IP and new media law boutique 

trademark

Amendments to Trade-marks Act coming into force June 17

With significant changes on the horizon for Canada’s Trade-marks Act, Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says there are key developments that will modernize and disrupt the nation’s trademarks regime. “There…

trademark

Airline wins in clash between free speech

Toronto intellectual property lawyer John Simpson says a dispute between a major airline and a disgruntled former passenger highlights the fundamental clash between free speech and IP rights. A Federal Court…

 

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