Video: Chocolate, Copyright, Confusion: Intellectual Property and the Supreme Court of Canada
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This lecture assesses how the Supreme Court is interpreting Canada’s intellectual property laws and how its decisions may affect legislative policy. The Court has become more interested and competent in this field than was the case even a couple of decades ago. Two decisions of the Court, Compo Co. Ltd. v. Blue Crest Music et al. (1979),  1 S.C.R. 357 and Euro-Excellence Inc. v. Kraft Canada Inc, 2007 SCC 37 are particularly compared. The former contains propositions which unintendedly cast a baneful influence over later law, while the latter sees the Court split four ways in a case where copyright law was used unsuccessfully to attempt to block parallel imports of chocolate bars into Canada. The lecture concludes that such decisions, among others, expose how inadequately successive governments have monitored intellectual property law developments, and calls for an independent commission to develop a more coherent intellectual property code that will advance Canadian economic interests and be readily understood by its users.
Editor’s Note: This lecture was first delivered on Oct. 24th, 2007 when Osgoode Hall Law School welcomed back one of its former faculty members to deliver the Lewtas Lecture.
During the question period after the talk, Professor Vaver shared his thoughts on additional topics, including the place of anti-circumvention provisions of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) in copyright law, the ability of IP law to deal with technological changes, and the use of IP law to support business models.
As expected, the lecture was well-attended by students, practitioners, and policy makers both in person and for the original webcast.