North America

Trader Joe’s trying to make Pirate Joe’s “walk the plank” in U.S. trade-mark case

In the ongoing dispute between Michael Hallatt, a Vancouver businessman, and U.S. based retailer Trader Joe’s, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the “Ninth Circuit”) has overruled the 2013 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (the “District Court”) not to hear Trader Joe’s claim against Hallatt for, among other things, trade-mark infringement, dilution, unfair competition and false advertising.

The dispute arose out of Hallatt’s purchase of products from Trader Joe’s stores in the U.S., particularly in the state of Washington, for resale in Canada (there are no Trader Joe’s stores in Canada).  Hallatt has and continues to mark up and re-sell Trader Joe’s products at his store in Vancouver, named Pirate Joe’s.

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Sharon Druker co-authors an international manual on the creation of businesses

September 7, 2016 — The International Lawyers Network [ILN] released today the third annual edition of Establishing a Business Entity: An International Guide. This manual provides a concise description of the conditions and procedures for the creation of a business in 22 countries. RSS is the Quebec member of the ILN, an alliance of 91 firms in 66 countries, with over 5,000 lawyers.

Once again, Sharon G. Druker has authored the chapter on Canada, with contribution by Michael Slan of Fogler Rubinoff LLP, the Ontario ILN member.

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Raman Johal is new CBA BC, Wills & Trusts Subsection Chair

We are pleased to announce that Raman Johal has been appointed as Chair of the Wills & Trust – Vancouver Subsection by the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch. This subsection is concerned with all aspects of succession law and practice including wills, probate and administration, testamentary and inter vivos trusts, mental competency as it relates to succession, estate planning and adult guardianship, and necessary ancillary areas such as the Income Tax Act and the Land Title Act. Congratulations to Raman!

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Daniel Nordby Reappointed to Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission

Daniel Nordby, a partner in the Tallahassee office of Shutts & Bowen, was recently reappointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC).

The JNC selects nominees to fill judicial vacancies within the Florida Court System. Daniel will serve on the JNC for the nominations to replace Justice James Perry in January 2017 and the nominations to replace Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis in January 2019.

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RSS and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: A constant relationship

September 7, 2016 — After having drawn thousands of visitors since February, the Pompeii exhibit presented by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has come to an end.

Last Thursday, September 1st, RSS took part in the Unplugged event in connection with the exhibition. Isabelle Gauthier Brancoli, Gabrielle Ferland and Gérald Kounadis, who sit on the organizing committee of the Young Philanthropists’ Circle of the Museum’s Foundation, were instrumental in ensuring the evening’s success.

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Holy Guacamole! An Employee’s Disparaging and Misleading Tweets May Be Protected Under the NLRA

Retail employers dismayed by employees publicly airing workplace grievances in disparaging social media posts must think twice before taking disciplinary action.  On August 18, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) confirmed the finding by Administrative Law Judge Susan A. Flynn that Chipotle’s social media policy forbidding employees from posting “incomplete” or “ inaccurate” information, or from making “disparaging, false, or misleading statements” on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites violates Section 8(a)(1) of the National Relations Labor Act (“the Act”).

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Combatting Counterfeiting

While implementation of the significant reforms to the Trade-marks Act in Canada that were passed in 2014 has been very slow, one area that has been implemented is the amendments to combat counterfeiting. The amendments are an attempt to change the international reputation of Canada as a laggard in battling counterfeiting.

The amendments brought into force on January 1, 2015 assist both trade-mark and copyright owners in their efforts to stop the distribution and importation into Canada of counterfeit goods.

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Recent Additions to the Technology and Intellectual Property Group

We are pleased to welcome two recent additions to our Technology and Intellectual Property Group: Scott Lamb and Stephanie Mui

Scott is a partner of the firm and is a member of the Technology, Intellectual Property and Infrastructure, Construction & Procurement Groups. Prior to joining us, Scott practiced with Richards Buell Sutton LLP in Vancouver as well as with a national law firm in Toronto. His legal expertise in intellectual property, construction and privacy law has led him to become a prolific author, editor, lecturer and media interviewee in these areas of law. Scott is a registered Trade-mark Agent. He is also accredited by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) as authorized to speak on their behalf as part of the Bank of Speakers initiative to heighten awareness of intellectual property in the business community.

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Be a Winner: Complying with Canadian Contest Laws

By Monica Sharma

Promotional contests can be a great way to obtain brand exposure and generate consumer loyalty for the products and services of a business. With the rise of social media, business owners now have an additional platform to run contests and reach even more consumers than ever before. Canadian contest law regulates contests, both online and offline, through a variety of statutes and regulations. Operators of contests should be aware of the legislative framework for running contests in Canada and ensure that their Canadian contests and contest rules are compliant with the legislation. Non-compliant contests could result in heavy penalties.

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Agency Guidance Issued Regarding the Final Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Procedures of Regulatory Entities Pursuant to Dodd Frank Section 342

Lauri F. RasnickWe previously reported that on June 9, 2015, six federal agencies (“Agencies”) subject to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Act”) issued much-anticipated joint final standards (“Final Standards”) in accordance with Section 342 of the Act for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities that they regulate (“Covered Entities”). See our earlier client advisory for an overview of the Final Standards which are divided into five general categories: (i) organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion, (ii) workforce profile and employment practices, (iii) procurement and business practices (or supplier diversity), (iv) practices to promote transparency of organizational diversity and inclusion, and (v) entities’ self-assessment.

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