CIPP Quarterly Newsletter – November 2005

In this issue:

+ The Kids are All Right: LEGO versus MEGABLOKS at the Supreme Court of Canada, by David Lametti
+ “Canadians Ruled by US Patent Law: Impact of NTP v. RIM on the Extraterritoriality of US Patent Law” by Nevena Lalic
+ “Coming to Terms with Copyright”, by David Lametti, in M. Geist’s “In the Public Interest”, Toronto: Irwin Law, 2005
+ Intellectual Property at the Edge: New Approaches to Intellectual Property in a Trans-Systemic World – Meredith Lectures Series, Montreal, March 17-18, 2006
+ Intellectual Property: Food and Materials Research – Conference, Montreal, November 10, 2005
+ The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Biotechnology Innovation – Workshop, Florence, October 24-25, 2005
+ Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Restructuring for the Public Benefit – Workshop, Montreal, September 25-27, 2005
+ Welcoming Kenyan Visitors

News

The Kids are All Right: LEGO versus MEGABLOKS at the Supreme Court of Canada, by David Lametti

The Supreme Court of Canada, ruling this past Thursday in the case of Kirkbi (Lego) v. Ritvik Holdings (Mega Bloks), did not only strike a metaphorical blow for children (and parents!) in Canada, not to mention the pocketbooks of the latter, but also clarified the boundaries between two areas of intellectual property. In holding that Lego does not have a trademark in the shape of its building blocks, the Court forced Lego to compete with Mega Bloks where they are in fact supposed to compete: in the marketplace. The ultimate winners here are the kids.
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“Canadians Ruled by US Patent Law: Impact of NTP v. RIM on the Extraterritoriality of US Patent Law” by Nevena Lalic

On Friday, October 7th 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington rejected a request by Research in Motion, the Canadian manufacturer of popular BlackBerry devices, to rehear its appeal of a patent infringement case brought by NTP Inc., which holds a U.S. patent on wireless e-mail technology used in the transfer of information from a desktop computer to a handheld BlackBerry device. Although this decision is of greatest concern to the public due to the service outage that may affect BlackBerry users in the United States, it is also extremely interesting for any innovator carrying out operations in the United States. Indeed, the NTP v. Research in Motion decision grants an unprecedented extraterritorial effect to United States patent law that should not escape innovators’ notice.
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Publications

“Coming to Terms with Copyright”, by David Lametti, in M. Geist’s “In the Public Interest”, Toronto: Irwin Law, 2005

This article provides is a conceptual and philosophical structure, albeit skeletal, for copyright reform generally and for the reform of copy¬right terms in particular. The argument herein is grounded on the general concepts of property and of copyright, and in the theoretical jus¬tifications for and history of copyright. I am of the mind that we need to tie the specific reforms back to a more general understanding of copyright. In this sense we must look back critically in order to re-assess how to move forward. Such a re-calibration would bring copyright protection back into line with its core justifications and history, balancing the rights of creators with the interests of maintaining a robust public domain.
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Coming Events

IP at the Edge: New Approaches to IP in a Trans-Systemic World, Meredith Lectures Series – Montreal, March 17-18, 2006

The Faculty of Law is pleased to announce the holding of the 2006 Meredith Lecture Series, which will examine cutting edge issues in the area of intellectual property through a trans-systemic lens. Academics from various disciplines, practitioners, policy-makers, and industry representatives will examine practical issues affecting intellectual property systems and will bring together perspectives of both the civil law and common law. This conference will take place on March 17-18, 2006, at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Registration information will be made available in upcoming newsletters.

Past Events

Intellectual Property: Food and Materials Research – Conference, Montreal, November 10, 2005

On November 10, 2005, the CIPP and the Advanced Food and Materials Network (AFMNet) jointly held a conference to identify intellectual property issues arising out of the various AFMNet research projects that are underway. The conference successfully provided AFMNet scientists with information ranging from basic intellectual property issues to more detailed intellectual property issues relevant to food and materials research projects.

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Biotechnology Innovation – Workshop, Florence, October 24-25, 2005

On October 24-25, the CIPP – funded by the Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council and hosted by the European University Institute in Florence – held a workshop to examine the role of intellectual property rights in near- and medium-term innovation. The workshop brought together individuals from various disciplines and regions and successfully uncovered deeply held assumptions about the role intellectual property rights in innovation systems. A collection of papers will be published in the winter of 2006.

Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Restructuring for the Public Benefit – Workshop, Montreal, September 25-27, 2005

On September 25-27, the CIPP – funded by Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research – held a policy makers workshop to explore the restructuring of IP systems to harness public benefit from biotechnological innovation. International experts from Canada, the United States and Latin America, in positions of responsibility in the policy world, were brought together to discuss the various issues raised by this important topic. A report detailing the outcomes emerging from this workshop will be published on the CIPP website in the winter of 2006.

General Information

Under Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant entitled Legal Models of Biotechnological Intellectual Property Protection: A Transdisciplinary Approach, the CIPP has undertaken to invite a number of academics from the developing world to participate in our research project in Montreal. The goal in inviting these researchers is two-fold; first, to learn from them about current issues in biotechnology intellectual property affecting their countries and regions and second, for them to return to their countries with enhanced skills in international research and biotechnology intellectual property.

As part of this project, the CIPP is pleased to welcome Jackline Nyaga, a Visiting Scholar from Kenya. Jackline will be arriving in late November 2005 and will be joining the CIPP for a period of 6 months. She is currently a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law. She holds a Masters in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her current research focuses on intellectual property law, specifically on pharmaceutical patents.

The CIPP is also pleased to welcome Kent Nnadozie, from Kenya, who will be beginning the doctoral program at McGill’s Faculty of Law in January 2006. The CIPP is pleased that Kent accepted our offer of a Ph.D. stipend to pursue his studies in this program. Kent is a Member of the Nigerian Bar and holds both an LL.B. (Honours) from the University of Benin, in Nigeria, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Lagos Business School, in Nigeria. Recently, Kent acted as Director of the Southern Environmental and Agricultural Research Institute, based in Nairobi. He also consulted extensively for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

This content has been updated on August 20, 2015 at 17:01.

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