June 10, 2021
When we say “meme”, we usually mean an internet meme. An Internet meme is an idea (and some content embodying this idea) spread via the Internet.
Memes are usually created in the internet community for humorous purposes. However, memes in practice may raise issues associated with copyright, registration of trademarks, or even with personal data protection.
This article is an overview of curious cases discussed in the Russian legal community and related to internet memes.
May 12, 2021
When a corporation expands its business into Canada, consideration should be given to whether it can register its brand as a trademark in this new market. While a corporation may operate in this market without registered trademarks, many statutory frameworks, like the Canadian regime, offer additional benefits to companies that have registered marks.
If a corporation plans to expand its operations into Canada, it should be aware that there are certain nuances to this trademark registration regime. Below is a discussion of some basic points applicable to filing a trademark application directly in Canada.
May 5, 2021
Foreign entities looking to register Australian domain names need to be aware that the eligibility requirements have changed and the threshold is now much higher. If a foreign entity is relying on a registered Australia trademark to meet the Australia presence requirement, they must ensure that their domain is an exact match to that trademark.
On 12 April 2021, a new set of rules relating to the licensing of the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) came into effect in Australia.
April 28, 2021
According to the Copyright Law, authors of audiovisual works have various rights, including:
- producing fixations or reproductions of the work;
- making the work available to the public (eg, by publishing it on an on-demand video service);
- broadcasting the work on TV or the radio; and
- communicating the work to the public.
April 7, 2021
The title is the first thing the reader sees or hears …—and getting it right is the single most important … decision you’ll make. The title forms the basis of the reader’s judgment ….” Tucker Max
For those of you who may read my past ILN posts, you will not be surprised that I subscribe to the Tucker Max approach: Make the title attention-grabbing, memorable and searchable, informative, easy and not embarrassing to say, and short. OK, maybe not the last prong so much, but I nonetheless have one regular reader who has noted that he thinks that I have “a real knack for catchy titles!” I will not debate the merits of that opinion right now.
March 31, 2021
The United States received two major copyright updates in the middle of the pandemic. Copyright owners should breathe a sigh of relief. On December 27, 2020, as part of the major COVID-19 Relief bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE Act”) and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 (the PLSA”) were signed into law.
Streaming is the thing—whether with music, television, movies, audiobooks, or videogames. Like with streaming, however, their illegal infringement is also everywhere and accounts for a nearly $30 billion loss to the U.S. economy per year.[i] The constant, pervasive nature of copyright infringement has historically made enforcement difficult. The CASE Act and PLSA provide copyright holders relief.
March 10, 2021
Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business. What if you file a federal trademark application and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refuses registration of the trademark based on a likelihood of confusion with another trademark registration? Can you cancel the cited trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because of non-use in commerce? The answer is “YES!” if the trademark has been abandoned for non-use or never been used in commerce or before a particular relevant date.
Under U.S. trademark laws, a petition for cancellation of a trademark registration may be filed at any time by any person who believes that he is or will be damaged. For trademark registrations within five years, the grounds for cancellation of a trademark registration include that the trademark has been abandoned due to nonuse with intent not to resume use and nonuse for three consecutive years. For trademark registrations older than five years, a petition for cancellation of trademark registration is enumerated in Trademark Act § 14, 15 U.S.C. §1064, which provides for cancellation of a trademark registration that has been abandoned for non-use. In either situation, this means that the trademark has been used in commerce, but subsequently was abandoned for non-use.
February 17, 2021
Biometric data is seen as a preferred means of identification by many businesses. Unlocking a smartphone using facial recognition and other biometric identifiers, for example, gives users the feeling as if they are more protected (e.g., less risk of identity theft). However, similar to the boom in privacy developments and legislation related to the collection and use of more traditional personal information, the growth of biometric data use by businesses, law enforcement, employers and other organizations has given rise to renewed privacy concerns and legal developments.
While there is no uniform federal biometric data privacy law, several states either have existing laws or are in the process of drafting or ratifying new laws. Although it remains to be seen how such legislation will change the industry’s use of and reliance upon biometric data, that it is increasingly the subject of analysis and discussion indicates a demand and a need for reasonable security and privacy practices around the collection and processing of biometric data, whether required by law or not.
February 10, 2021
The British Columbia decision Equustek Solutions Inc. v Jack highlights the difficult, time consuming, and expensive exercise that organizations may find themselves in when an employee misuses confidential information. In today’s environment, information can be downloaded, transferred or shared instantly. How can organizations best protect their intellectual property assets and confidential information to maintain their competitive advantage?
February 3, 2021
Late last year, the High Court of Australia overturned more than 100 years of precedent when it handed down its decision in Calidad Pty Ltd v Seiko Epson Corporation  HCA 41 (Calidad v Seiko). Rather than following the existing principle of ‘implied licence’, in its decision, the High Court adopted a US common law patent doctrine, which provides that a patentee’s monopoly rights over its inventions are ‘exhausted’ after sale (the exhaustion doctrine).