Budget

The latest budget was introduced today in parliament. Relating to intellectual property, the budget plan states:

In recognition of the importance of a well-functioning intellectual property regime, Budget 2017 announces the Government will develop a new intellectual property strategy over the coming year. The strategy will help ensure that Canada’s intellectual property regime is modern and robust and supports Canadian innovations in the 21st century.

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USSC

The United States Supreme Court has issued a couple of intellectual property decisions this week:

  • Star Athletica, L. L. C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. where a majority found a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection only if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work—either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression—if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated. The particular facts related to cheerleading uniforms.
  • SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC where a majority found that laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for patent infringement damages brought within the 6-year limitations period.

Design Damages

The United States Supreme Court has released its decision in Samsung v. Apple regarding the damages for design infringement. Finding in favour of Samsung, the court held that in the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant “article of manufacture” for arriving at a §289 damages award need not be the end product sold to the consumer but may be only a component of that product. The $399 million damages award was reversed and the proceeding remanded back to the Federal Circuit.

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Canadian Intellectual Property