I get asked this question all of the time. It’s a loaded question.
Back in an earlier blog post, I explained what a trademark is. Essentially, a trademark could be a word, slogan, design or even a sound that distinguishes the goods and services of one business from those of other businesses. The reason why the question is loaded is because the common law affords certain rights to those who “use” a mark and have “become known” for that mark in relation to goods and services. Therefore, even without applying for a registered trademark, a user of such marks will be afforded some rights.
I was recently asked to prepare Terms and Conditions for a Hackathon. For those who don’t know, a Hackathon is basically a competition/event where the participants are asked to develop a piece of software under certain conditions (often within a one or two day period) that meets the theme of the competition.
Sometimes the Hackathon is sponsored with the intent that the entry will be owned or licensed by the sponsor.
When preparing Hackathon terms, you will want to make sure that you address the following:
When drafting Shareholders Agreements with clients, we often explore whether the corporation should consider taking out Key Person Insurance or whether we should create a requirement to obtain this type of insurance in the Shareholders Agreement.
I often get calls from clients asking what they require in order to do business in a particular province. Often these questions come from international clients who wish to do business in Canada, but we also have questions from businesses who operate in a particular province but wish to “do business” in another province.
Unfortunately, the quick answer is the dreaded “it depends”. Typically, to “carry on business” in a particular province in Canada, you need to be incorporated in that province or have a business license to operate in that province. If your company is already incorporated in a different jurisdiction (another province or foreign country), then you would need an Extra-Provincial License.
But what is considered “carrying on business”? Each province has legislation (whether their corporate statute or a specific extra-provincial corporations statute) that provides a definition of what is considered “doing business”.
I wrote a brief summary of the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (which some have referred to as the “Cyberbullying Law”) for ITBusiness.ca. You may be surprised to find that new lawful access provisions can affect your business.
You can view the post in its entirety by clicking here.
Many businesses are taking advantage of the competitive pricing available when using virtual or hosted PBX voice-over IP (VoIP) telephone systems. Rather than buying a super-expensive and bulky PBX system to store in-house, businesses can outsource their telephone requirements and obtain robust and advanced telephone systems at monthly fees per line or extension. On the flipside, many existing telecom companies and opportunistic entrepreneurs are looking to enter the VoIP market place.
More and more businesses are considering moving their storage of data to the cloud. As Jason Segal pointed out in a recent movie – NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THE CLOUD!
What we do know is that cloud storage often provides a cheaper, scalable alternative to businesses investing in their own data storage infrastructure. While there are many benefits to using cloud providers, it is important to understand the risks involved. Some of the risks include:
Many of us were working hard to become compliant (or get our clients compliant) with the July 1, 2014 deadline imposed by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) for compliance with the prohibition against sending unwanted commercial electronic messages. While July 1 has come and gone, many are now scrambling to untangle Phase 2 of CASL – the prohibition against the installation of unwanted computer programs.
The computer program provisions of CASL will come into force on January 15, 2015. A date otherwise known as “pretty damn soon”.
Drafting shareholder agreements for start-ups can be tricky. It is the job of the lawyer to ensure that enough protection is in the document while still being mindful of the client’s budget. In this series, I will briefly explore some of the questions and concerns that arise.