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August 29, 2014

Earlier today, Canada’s Competition Bureau announced that it has launched a new Quarterly Report as part of its ongoing “Transparency Initiative” (i.e., to increase its communication to Canadians regarding the work the Bureau does). According to the Bureau, its new Quarterly Report “presents statistics relating to a variety of intake measures, merger and non-merger enforcement matters, as well as advocacy, outreach and partnership initiatives”.  I discuss a few key points below that caught my eye.

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August 29, 2014

WHAT ARE TRADEMARKS?

A mark (words, names, symbols, devices, sounds, smells, trade dress) used to distinguish the goods and services of one business from similar goods and services of all other businesses.

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August 28, 2014

WHAT IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT?

Original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. That is, an original expression (of an idea) fixed in some (usually, tangible) form: fixed or unfixed performances of a work by a performer; sound recordings, including sound recordings of a performance; broadcasts (communication signals).

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August 24, 2014

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has proposed settlements in two cases involving professional associations and codes of ethics that the FTC alleged violated U.S. antitrust laws (the FTC Act) (see: here).  In these two cases, involving the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the associations agreed to remove provisions in their codes of ethics that, according to the FTC, limited competition among members and raised antitrust law concerns.

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August 23, 2014

I paid a visit to my lawyer earlier today.  Nothing serious – I needed some assistance with an estate I’m involved with.  Yes, even lawyers sometimes need lawyers.  In any event, I’m a competition lawyer as I’m sure you know. I practice in this area because I find it very interesting, even after 12 years in practice, and because I think it’s important – i.e., that markets operate competitively, companies compete fairly and that consumers, companies and economies benefit from competitive and efficient markets.

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August 22, 2014

As most, though not all, Canadians now know (and some Americans and international marketers) Canada introduced federal anti-spam legislation on July 1, 2014. As has now been widely written and commented upon since it was first introduced in 2010, CASL is a difficult, complex, unclear and profoundly business unfriendly federal law. As has also been widely stated, CASL is among the most restrictive, if not the most restrictive, anti-spam law in the world.

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August 15, 2014

CBC has reported that Canada’s Conservative Government still plans to introduce new competition rules in Canada to address the “Canada-U.S. price gap”. Despite significant criticism from Canadian businesses, competition law practitioners and other policy commentators (see for example the CD Howe Institute’s two companion reports recommending that the proposal be abandoned: here and here and my own comments here), according to CBC the Conservatives “intend to move forward on it in due course” and see it as a “budget commitment”.

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July 22, 2014

In an interesting case that caught my eye yesterday and today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a settlement in a case involving allegations that an online bar code re-seller engaged in an “invitation to collude” under Section 5 of the U.S. FTC Act. See: Different methods, same old antitrust problem and Two barcode resellers settle FTC charges that principals invited competitors to collude.

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