IP Round Up: “Banal” Lyrics and “Taco Tuesdays”

February 20, 2018
Blog Post

As reported in this space last month, Taylor Swift has recently been involved in a copyright infringement court battle over the question of whether the lyrics of her hit song “Shake it Off” were copied from an early 2000s song by 3LW titled “Playas Gon’ Play.” This post also looks at a trademark dispute over the phrase “Taco Tuesdays”.

Happy Chinese New Year 2018 – Year of the Dog!

February 16, 2018
Blog Post

Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. And 2018 is the Year of the Dog! People born in the Year of the Dog – birth years 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006 – are characterised as sincere, reliable, considerate, intelligent, and hardworking. Nelligan O’Brien Payne’s Intellectual Property Group wishes you and your family health, happiness and prosperity for 2018.

Swift’s legal team battles accusations of plagiarism

January 9, 2018
Blog Post

Why should musicians know about copyright and trademark law when it comes to their brand? In our latest IP@Nelligan blog post, Adam Tracey looks at a recent Taylor Swift copyright infringement suit over the lyrics to one of her hits, and explores Swift’s own trademarking efforts.

Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2017
Blog Post

The Intellectual Property Group and Business Law Group at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! All the best in 2018!

Ottawa resident wins Right to Privacy case based on video clip

December 18, 2017
Blog Post

An Ottawa woman recently won her case against an advertising firm who used a clip of her jogging for a promotional video without her permission. In our latest IP@Nelligan blog post, Adam Tracey warns that using short video clips for commercial purposes can result in a breach of privacy and appropriation of personality claim, and that this decision sets an interesting precedent in Ontario law.

An entrepreneur’s intellectual property toolkit: Simple steps to avoid legal headaches

November 21, 2017
Blog Post

It’s the legal question known to elicit grimaces in startup circles. Have you done your due diligence? If you’re a successful early stage entrepreneur, the odds are good that the answer is no; you’ve simply been too busy running a business. But there comes a point where it’s important to sit down and ask yourself some tough questions about where your legal risks lie.

Toronto Neighbourhood Heats Up Over Copyright Battle

October 13, 2017
Blog Post

Copyright can apply to a wide variety of creative works. This includes sculpture, paintings and architectural work. An architect generally maintains the copyright in architectural designs unless those designs were developed for a client under the explicit understanding that the client owns the architect’s work product. But what happens when a newly built house appears to bear the exact same design as another house in the same neighbourhood?

The Happy Birthday Song: All Together Now!

September 14, 2017
Blog Post

As we have previously discussed in this space, many of us have been unaware that the song we sing at numerous family gatherings and office parties has been subject to various copyright claims by an entertainment industry heavyweight, preventing any and all commercial use of that song. Have you ever noticed that “Happy Birthday” is never presented in full on a TV show or movie?

Mixed-Up Confusion: U-Haul and U Box It

August 25, 2017
Blog Post

In a major victory for a small business based in the Greater Toronto Area, the Federal Court of Appeal in U-Haul International Inc. v. U Box It Inc. upheld a lower court decision recognizing its registered trademark U BOX IT.