The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that a phone company infringed federal privacy laws by not informing first-time subscribers, at the time of enrolment, of the primary and secondary purposes for which their personal information was collected and in not informing them at that time of the availability of the non-published number service.
Canada’s phone companies have for years collected their subscribers’ personal information for listing in white pages, 411 services and for other uses, including: making the information available to independent directory publishers and other organizations; publishing the listing information in online directory assistance services which allow reverse searching by address or phone number; and making the listing information available via CD-ROM for retail use. | MORE
Bell Canada (Bell), the largest incumbent phone company in Canada, has been granted regulatory approval to deliver television services over phone lines to major urban centres in Ontario and Quebec. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made the decision on November 18, 2004 (CRTC 2004-496) to grant two regional licenses to Bell, allowing the company to serve cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. | MORE
The European Union proposed Directive on software patents is again in limbo due to an apparent withdrawal of support by Poland, whose vote would be necessary to pass the legislation.
Since 1997, the European Union has been attempting to harmonize the laws of its member states regarding the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. | MORE
A recently released study (Cluster Study) by Industry Canada compares the status and growth opportunities of three related industry sectors – information and communications technologies (ICT); life sciences (LS); and converging next-generation technologies (CNT) – in the four urban clusters of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. | MORE
The US Congress has passed Bill S 2192 ENR, which creates a clearer standard on permitted disclosure in the course of joint development.
Senator Leahy, in promoting the bill in June, noted that the law will prevent further decisions such as OddzOn Products, Inc v Just Toys, Inc, 43 USPQ 2d 1641 (Fed Cir 1997). That is, it will promote the public policy goal of confidential disclosures in a joint development relationship without the fear of those disclosures being cited as prior art against a joint patent. | MORE
A US District Court has ruled it unconstitutional for the state of California to require web sites to obtain a real estate broker’s license in order to display property listings.
The Court held in favour of New-York based ForSaleByOwner.com, a real estate services company which charges a flat fee for online listings. The company had filed a lawsuit against the state of California last year to challenge the licensing regime. | MORE
The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a preliminary order barring Static Control Components (SCC) from selling computer chips to third-party manufacturers making cheaper substitutes for Lexmark International Inc’s (Lexmark) printer toner cartridges (Lexmark International Inc v Static Control Components Inc, DC No. 02-00571, October 26, 2004). | MORE
Frank Fowlie, formerly a senior official with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and an experienced conflict resolution specialist, has been appointed by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as its Ombudsman. Mr. Fowlie will operate from his own offices but have access to ICANN’s offices in Marina del Ray and Brussels. | MORE