Two new volumes relating to intellectual property are now available.
1) The United States’ annual Special 301 report, a charade of evaluation of intellectual property enforcement, was released on May 1. (As I have written before, this process has no international validity.) For those interested, in this year’s report Canada has moved up one level on the scale of American disgrace; we are on the “Watch List” instead of our previous standing of “Priority Watch List.”
The American government is pleased with Canada’s Copyright Modernization Act (replete as it was with protection from circumvention of digital locks) and the introduction of legislation “to strengthen IPR enforcement, which included provisions that would provide ex officio authority to Canadian customs officials to seize pirated and counterfeit goods at the border (p.46)”. However, concerns still exist with respect to Canadian patenting practices, including “the impact of the heightened utility requirements for patents that Canadian courts have been adopting recently (p.46).” (I wrote about our courts’ reluctance to uphold a patent that did not live up to expectations; see here.)
2) Much more interesting is the release of a new book by University of Ottawa Press. The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law is available for purchase and for free download via a Creative Commons license. Michael Geist served as editor; he envisioned the collection and ensured its realization. The book features Geist’s work along with contributions from thirteen other scholars, including me (see here for some details). It was a pleasure to participate in such a well-executed project. Congratulations must go to Geist and his entire team of students, editors, reviewers and the staff at University of Ottawa Press.