Archive for November, 2012

Supreme Court Serves Stunning Reminder of Patent Bargain

The House of Commons Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has spent the past few months hearing from a myriad of companies on the Canadian intellectual property system. With few public interest groups invited to appear, one of the primary themes has been the call for more extensive patent protections, as witnesses link the patent system to innovation and economic growth.

While policies that purport to help the economy unsurprisingly generate considerable support, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the Supreme Court of Canada recently provided a powerful reminder about the true purpose of patent law in a decision involving Pfizer’s patent for Viagra, the well-known erectile dysfunction medication. Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s leading generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, had lost successive challenges against the Viagra patent, but managed to pull out a win when it mattered most. The decision has already had considerable fallout, as Pfizer has asked for a rehearing, had the patent confirmed as invalid in a Federal Court case with Apotex, and dropped its retail price to match the generic pricing.

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November 22, 2012 5 comments Columns

Supreme Court Serves Stunning Reminder of the Patent Bargain

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 18, 2012 as Supreme Court Serves Stunning Reminder of the Patent Bargain The House of Commons Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has spent the past few months hearing from a myriad of companies on the Canadian intellectual property system. With few public […]

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November 22, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Canadian Broadcasters Seek Overhaul of Radio Copyright Fees Post-C-11 & Fair Dealing Decisions

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters has applied to the Copyright Board of Canada for a radical overhaul of the current fees paid by radio stations for commercial radio reproduction of music. The CAB argues that in light of copyright reforms in Bill C-11 and the Supreme Court of Canada’s rulings on fair dealing, there is no legal basis for several tariffs proposed by CMRRA-SODRAC (CSI), AVLA, and ACTRA and that the rate on earlier approved tariffs should be significantly reduced.

The CAB position on the impact of the law is that:

The result of the changes to the Copyright Act made by the Copyright Modernization Act, when combined with the fair dealing right as applied in ESA, is to eliminate or significantly reduce the liability of radio broadcasters for the reproductions made by them in the course of their broadcasting activities. Even the reproduction collectives agree that the legislative changes alone will eliminate most liability of radio broadcasters for reproductions of music. 

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November 20, 2012 4 comments News

U.S. Republican Study Committee Releases Progressive Copyright Document Only To Withdraw Hours Later

The story of the weekend was the publication by the U.S. Republican Study Committee of a progressive report on copyright, only to withdraw the paper hours later (coverage from Techdirt (1, 2), Volokh Conspiracy, the American Conservative, Politico, CNET, and Macleans). The paper – which can still be found online […]

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November 20, 2012 4 comments News

Canada To Support Concept of a WIPO Treaty for the Visually Impaired

Howard Knopf reports that the Canadian delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on Copyright, which is meeting in Geneva this week, will endorse the concept of an international treaty for the visually impaired.

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November 20, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads