Author: Reuben Zaramian

1

Amici Curiae: Retailers Taking Quebec’s Language Laws to Court

A number of major multinational retailers operating in Quebec will be taking the province to court this week with the hopes of amending language laws that require business names be posted in French. Section 63 of the French Language Charter states that “The name of an enterprise must be in French.” Many violations are tracked by The Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise, which has the mission of “making French the priority language in Quebec.” The retailers include household-name corporations like Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, and Gap. They argue that their trademarked business names should be excluded from scrutiny under...

0

BULLETIN: Supreme Court rules on Teva v Pfizer

The Supreme Court released its unanimous judgment on Teva v Pfizer, 2012 SCC 60 on November 8, creating a very strong precedent for registering patents and the type of disclosure that is necessary. At issue in the decision was Pfizer’s patent for Viagra, its sildenafil-based drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. Due to expire in 2014, its patent prevents other companies from producing their own generic versions at significantly lower prices. The parties had asked the Court to revise the Canadian position on sufficiency in patent applications. Teva had requested that the Court revise the standard on disclosing what elements...

0

At the Court: What’s in a judgment?

How much of a party’s submissions can a judge incorporate into the judgment without attribution? Setting aside issues of honesty in scholarship, the Court will have the opportunity to address the duties and responsibilities of judges in Eric Victor Cojocaru, et al. v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Center, et al. At stake is $4,000,000 awarded at trial for brain damage suffered during birth against a hospital, which was set aside by the Court of Appeal in favour of a new trial. The respondent hospital and healthcare workers argue that the judge did not adequately address the arguments put...

0

At the Court: Paving the Way Forward with Antrim Truck Centre v Minister of Transportation

Last December, the Court of Appeal for Ontario decided in favour of the Minister of Transportation, finding that highway construction that rerouted traffic (i.e. customers) away from an existing highway was not a sufficient ground for compensation for business owners. Antrim Truck Centre operated a truck stop on Highway 17 outside Ottawa for almost thirty years. In 2004, it learned that the government would be constructing Highway 417, parallel to Highway 17, in order to enhance public safety for drivers in the region. The government did not expropriate or directly affect any land owned by Antrim, but the flow of...

1

At the Court: What We Talk About When We Talk About Children… and UROM

Redefining “child”? In Ivana Levkovic v. Her Majesty the Queen, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to define or clarify what a “child” is. Although the Criminal Code of Canada has many provisions that criminalize acts against and involving children, it does not explicitly define who can be categorized as such, nor does it offer general guidelines. The appellant was charged and convicted under s.243 of the Code, which states that “Every one who in any manner disposes of the dead body of a child, with intent to conceal the fact that its mother has been delivered of it,...

0

Revisiting Publication Bans: MEH v Williams (2012)

Every tragedy has private dimensions to which the public is not privy. But should it be? In MEH v Williams, 2012 ONCA 35 [MEH], M.E.H. (respondent), the wife of former Col. David Russell Williams of the Canadian Armed Forces, sought a court order sealing the entire record of divorce proceeding she intended to bring against her husband. Mr. Williams did not oppose the motion, and Mackinnon J. granted a temporary sealing order (MEH v Williams, 2011 ONSC 2022), even if narrower than what M.E.H. requested. Ottawa Citizen and CBC have been granted intervener status and are the appellants on this motion. In...

0

Hidden Agendas? Teva v Pfizer

In May of 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada granted Teva Canada leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision, Teva v Pfizer, 2010 FCA 242. At issue is Patent ‘446 (July 2008; expires in 2014), which covers Pfizer’s sildenafil-based drug for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Pfizer originally patented sildenafil in 1998 to treat hypertension, and only after a number of test patients reported spontaneous ‘reactions’ did they begin testing the compound for treating ED. The patent prevents pharmaceutical companies from marketing generic, low-cost alternatives. Both parties are asking the Court to revise its position on sufficiency in patent...