Post Tagged with: "supreme court"

Hand holds Saliva Collection Kit Tube from 23andMe with open funnel lid to test health and ancestry with personal genetic in front of blurry background by Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 61: Senator James Cowan on the Extraordinary Battle for a Genetic Anti-Discrimination Law in Canada

As the broad availability of genetic testing has mushroomed over the past two decades, privacy and potential discrimination concerns associated with testing results has increased. Until recently, Canada lagged behind other countries in this regard with no specific national legislation. That changed in 2017 with the enactment of the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act. The Act was quickly challenged on constitutional grounds, but earlier this month a divided Supreme Court of Canada upheld its validity.

The law underwent a remarkable parliamentary journey featuring opposition from successive governments, lobbying against the bill by the insurance industry, passage in the House of Commons despite objections from then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and a court challenge in which the government supported the effort to declare the law invalid. Senator James Cowan, who was the lead proponent of the legislation, joins me on the podcast to discuss what prompted him to take on the  issue and the unlikely path of Canada’s genetic non-discrimination law.

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July 27, 2020 Comments are Disabled Podcasts

Supreme Court Voids Viagra Patent as Insufficient Disclosure Means It Fails the “Patent Bargain”

The Supreme Court of Canada this morning shocked the pharmaceutical industry by voiding Pfizer’s patent in Canada for Viagra. The unanimous decision provides a strong reaffirmation of the policy behind patent law, namely that patents represent a quid pro quo bargain of public disclosure of inventions in return for a time limited monopoly in the invention. The Supreme Court describes it in this way:

The patent system is based on a “bargain”, or quid pro quo: the inventor is granted exclusive rights in a new and useful invention for a limited period in exchange for disclosure of the invention so that society can benefit from this knowledge. This is the basic policy rationale underlying the Act. The patent bargain encourages innovation and advances science and technology.

Disclosure is therefore a crucial part of the patent bargain.

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November 8, 2012 35 comments News

Supreme Court Securities Act Constitutionality Ruling Throws Digital Laws into Doubt

The Supreme Court of Canada this morning ruled that the federal government’s plan to create a single securities regulator is unconstitutional since it stretches the federal trade and commerce clause too far into provincial jurisdiction. The ruling is a wake-up call on the limits of federal powers, even where many […]

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December 22, 2011 26 comments News

Supreme Court Grants Leave in K-12 Copyright Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal decision involving copyright and K-12 schools, which specifically addressed fair dealing in the context of education.  I wrote about the Federal Court of Appeal decision here.

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May 5, 2011 1 comment News

Supreme Court Will Lead Tech Law in 2011

Predictions about the upcoming year in technology law and policy in Canada are particularly challenging given the prospect of a possible election.  My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that while there is no shortage of potential new laws – bills on privacy, copyright, and lawful access are all before the House of Commons – an election call before the fall would likely mean that those bills would die on the order paper.

With political uncertainty clouding even the best crystal ball, the Supreme Court of Canada is set to emerge this year as the place where much of the action will take place.  Canada’s highest court has lined up a tech-heavy docket that will have a major impact Canadian law.

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January 11, 2011 5 comments Columns