Legal Updates

Compliance in times of uncertainty – dealing with new and missing regulation

Introduction

One of the key elements of good regulation is to ensure that the regulation is transparent and known to those who it affects and must observe the regulation.  This is the reason why there are procedures in place to ensure that proposed new regulation and changes to regulation are communicated to those affected well in advance to their introduction to allow for proper response to the implementation.

Although the notion that “Ignorance of law is no excuse” does exist, I think that it is accepted by all that reliance on that notion is not advisable and that it is in everyone’s interests for law and regulation to be communicated and understood before it commences.  After all, the aim of law and regulation is not to raise revenue from breaches of an unknown law but to secure the aims of the law and regulation by their observance. More…

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How to make a group gift like Coach Dean Smith’s

Recent media reports state that Dean Smith, coach of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team, left a gift of $200 to each former letterman player that he coached. One of the players posted a copy of the letter and cheque on Twitter and it went viral.

Occasionally our clients wish to do something similar, for example business owners wanting to leave gifts to employees of their company. Such gifts tend to leave a significant emotional impact regardless of their amount, in part because they are usually unexpected.

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Managing the transition: the impact of Canada’s amended Trade-marks Act on pending trade-mark applications

iStock_000000423466SmallThe recent amendments to Canada’s Trade-marks Act present many interesting opportunities and challenges to brand owners and their counsel.  This article focuses primarily on the impacts for Canadian trademark applications that are pending at the time the amended Act comes into force—that is, applications that have been filed with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) but that have not yet issued to registration.

As a preliminary comment, there is, unfortunately still no clarity about when the amendments to the Act will come into force. When the amending legislation was passed, CIPO initially indicated that the effective date could be as early as late 2014; subsequent projections were revised to mid-to-late 2015. More recent comments from CIPO suggest that mid-2016 is a more realistic timeframe.  The delay is apparently related to the magnitude of the IT changes required, particularly as connected to implementation of the Madrid  Protocol, to which Canada is becoming a party.

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Unjust contract protections to extend to small businesses

The Government has announced that it intends to extend legal protections against unfair contract terms to small business.

This initiative may have significant effect on transactions like equipment finance, commercial lending, and other supplies to small businesses.  There is potential for distribution agreements such as broker contracts and financial services distribution agreements to be affected.

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) currently contains provisions to protect consumers from unfair contract terms in standard form contracts. Unfair terms include terms which permit one party but not the other to exercise certain rights, such as the right to renew, vary or terminate the contract. The ACL gives the courts power to declare unfair contract terms void. More…

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Compliance in times of uncertainty – dealing with new and missing regulation

Introduction

One of the key elements of good regulation is to ensure that the regulation is transparent and known to those who it affects and must observe the regulation.  This is the reason why there are procedures in place to ensure that proposed new regulation and changes to regulation are communicated to those affected well in advance to their introduction to allow for proper response to the implementation.

Although the notion that “Ignorance of law is no excuse” does exist, I think that it is accepted by all that reliance on that notion is not advisable and that it is in everyone’s interests for law and regulation to be communicated and understood before it commences.  After all, the aim of law and regulation is not to raise revenue from breaches of unknown law but to secure the aims of the law and regulation by their observance. More…

Read full article

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Alert: Communications sector adopts first-of-its-kind cybersecurity measures

For the first time, the communications industry has critical guidance and recommendations for cybersecurity protection. That’s because a multidisciplinary group formed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) examined the cybersecuity risks to the communications sector and adopted an extensive 415-page report that contains first-of-its-kind cybersecurity measures for the communications industry to follow. This report – “Cybersecurity Rick Management and Best Practices Working Group 4: Final Report” (Report) – was issued on March 18, 2015, by the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). The Report is expected to be an important tool for other industries looking to implement measures to guard against cybersecurity risks.

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You’ve Been Sued: 4 Non-HIPAA Claims in Data Breach Cases

“There is no private right of action under HIPAA.”  This oft-repeated rule is a source of comfort for many health care entities. Of course, patients can file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights or State Attorneys General, but a “HIPAA cause of action” does not exist. So what is the basis for the many […]

The post You’ve Been Sued: 4 Non-HIPAA Claims in Data Breach Cases appeared first on OMW Health Law.

For more information please visit www.omwhealthlaw.com or click on the headline above.

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Time to update your terms and conditions?

UNFAIR CONTRACT PROVISIONS – FAIR TRADING ACT 1986

The new unfair contract provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1986 took effect from 17 March 2015.

The Commerce Commission has indicated there will be no grace period for businesses to comply.  From 17 March 2015, it has been unlawful to incorporate an unfair term in a standard form of Consumer Contract.

Unfair contract terms relate primarily to clauses in standard form consumer contracts – the main hallmarks of these contracts being that the terms the provider has offered to the consumer have been on a “take it or leave it” basis and importantly the contracts relate to goods and services that are primarily for personal use.  More…

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Garner v. Garner – Can you obtain a court ordered visitation schedule with an elderly parent?

Several years ago, the B.C. Court of Appeal, in Temoin v. Martin, 2012 BCCA 250 [Temoin] discussed the application of a time-honoured principle that English and subsequently Canadian courts had established and which became known as the Court’s parens patriae jurisdiction. Historically, the parens patriae doctrine (which literally means “parent of the country”) vested the Court with the authority to make orders in the best interests of children that were in need of protection. Temoin clarified that the Court’s powers under the parens patriae jurisdiction can also be invoked to make orders necessary for the protection of elderly individuals that have not been formally declared incompetent or incapable of managing their affairs. In Temoin, the Court held that in appropriate circumstances it could make an order compelling an elderly individual to submit to a medical capacity assessment. We provide a detailed discussion of the factual background and the Court’s decision in Temoin in our 2012 blog post discussing “Court Ordered Examinations to Determine Incapacity in British Columbia”.

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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — March 27, 2015

On Wednesday, the House passed a budget by a vote of 228 to 199. The House budget that passed increased defense spending, a move that was necessary to secure the votes of Republican hawks.

The House’s budget makes cuts to domestic spending on everything from food stamps to welfare. The blueprint also repeals the Affordable Care Act and makes changes to the tax code.

Republicans in the House chose to pass a budget that increased military spending even though that spending would not be offset, a major concession for some fiscal conservatives.

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