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

Blog Post
November 21, 2017

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

Blog Post
October 13, 2017

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!

Blog Post
September 14, 2017

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

Blog Post
August 25, 2017

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.

Recent SCC decisions reflect significant changes to Canadian IP law

Blog Post
August 15, 2017

The Supreme Court of Canada has been busy issuing a number of important decisions. These are sure to have a substantial impact on Canada’s legal landscape surrounding intellectual property rights and, as a result, the Canadian economy as a whole.

No More Promises: The New Standard Of Utility In Canada

Blog Post
July 28, 2017

What does it mean to say a patented invention is “useful”? Our latest IP@Nelligan blog post looks at a recent Supreme Court case involving two pharmaceutical companies and the utility of a patent for heartburn medication.

Team Google, World Internet Police?

Blog Post
July 7, 2017

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released its landmark ruling in the Google v Equustek case. The Google case is the latest chapter of a global shift that has seen neutral online intermediaries, like Google and Yahoo, conscripted into active enforcement roles. The impact of this ruling will play out globally in the coming months and years.

Gene Simmons Attempts to Trademark the “Sign of the Horns” Hand Gesture

Blog Post
June 20, 2017

Shock-rock icon Gene Simmons, celebrity entrepreneur and vocalist/bassist with the group KISS, has recently applied for a US trademark based on the famous “Sign of the Horns” hand gesture. The application is directed to services in the nature of “live musical performances”, and Simmons claims trademark rights back to November 1974.

Fidget-Spinners And The Spin Over the Inventor

Blog Post
June 12, 2017

The latest fad to hit the market are fidgets-spinners, hand-held spinning devices that have become hugely popular with school kids over the last few months. Naturally, when a gadget like this appears to come out of nowhere, people often wonder who invented it.