Stop ACTA 9 by Martin Krolikowski (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bs3VmD

Stop ACTA 9 by Martin Krolikowski (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bs3VmD

ACTA

Liberals Propose Increased Border Searches By Eliminating Anti-Counterfeiting Personal Exception

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology held its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-8, the anti-counterfeiting bill yesterday. I appeared before the committee last month to express concerns about some lobbyist demands for reforms, including removing the exception for personal goods of travelers, the inclusion of statutory damages for trademark infringement, and targeting in-transit shipments.

While the committee did not complete the review of the bill – it will resume on Wednesday – the surprise of the day involved Liberal MP Judy Sgro proposing that the government remove the exception for personal travelers. Given that personal use exceptions are even included in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, it is shocking to see any party proposing their removal, which would result in longer delays at the border and increased searches of individual travelers. The proposal failed since it was rejected by both the Conservatives and NDP, with the NDP noting that “this was one of the important provisions that brought some balance to the bill.”

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December 3, 2013 12 comments News

The TPP IP Chapter Leaks: U.S. Demanding Overhaul of Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

The leak of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter confirms that the many concerns about the agreement were well-founded. My earlier posts highlighted Canada’s opposition to many U.S. proposals and U.S. demands for Internet provider liability that could lead to subscriber termination, content blocking, and ISP monitoring. This post focuses on some of the anti-counterfeiting requirements in the TPP.  The anti-counterfeiting issue is particularly relevant from a Canadian perspective because the government has proposed significant new anti-counterfeiting measures in Bill C-8, which is currently at second reading in the House of Commons and being studied by the Industry Committee. If the U.S. border measures demands are included in the TPP, Bill C-8 would be wholly inadequate to meet Canada’s new treaty obligations.

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November 15, 2013 4 comments News

New Risks Emerge as Anti-Counterfeiting Bill Placed on the Legislative Fast Track

The government’s anti-counterfeiting legislation, which died over the summer when the Conservatives hit the parliamentary reset button, is now back on the legislative fast track. Industry Minister James Moore quickly re-introduced the bill last month and speedily sent it to the Industry Committee for review (I appeared before the committee last week).  

That review has revealed that the numerous new border measures envisioned by the bill, including seizure powers without court oversight, fall short of the demands of intellectual property lobby groups. Those groups intend to use the committee hearings to seek further expansion of border seizures and to shift more enforcement costs to the public.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that since virtually everyone is opposed to harmful counterfeiting – particularly when fake goods create health and safety risks – it is unsurprising that the bill appears to enjoy all-party support. The focal point of the bill is that it grants customs officials broad new powers without court oversight. Officials will be required to assess whether goods entering or exiting the country infringe any copyright or trademark rights. Should a customs official determine that there is infringement, the goods may be seized and prevented from entering the country.

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November 12, 2013 5 comments Columns

New Risks Emerge as Anti-Counterfeiting Bill Placed on the Legislative Fast Track

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 9, 2013 as New Risks Emerge as Anti-Counterfeiting Bill Placed on Legislative Fast Track The government’s anti-counterfeiting legislation, which died over the summer when the Conservatives hit the parliamentary reset button, is now back on the legislative fast track. Industry Minister James Moore […]

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November 12, 2013 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Considering C-8: My Appearance Before the Industry Committee on the Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

I appeared yesterday before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology for a hearing on Bill C-8, the anti-counterfeiting bill that has been placed on the legislative fast-track by the government.  The panel also featured representatives from the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Standards Association, and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. The hearing was cut short by a vote in the House of Commons, but there was still an opportunity for a ten minute opening presentation and to address a few questions from the committee members. My prepared remarks are posted below. Given time constraints and the comments of the other panel members, there were some adjustments (I omitted the first section on the scope of counterfeiting and noted that fellow panel members proposed the precise amendments I was discussing).

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November 7, 2013 2 comments Committees, News