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Friday Brief

The Friday Brief

Friday, June 30, 2017 @ 3:06 PM | By Matthew Grace


Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Today, in a decision that will be welcomed by patent holders in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond, the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the Federal Courts should no longer apply the oft-criticized common law “promise doctrine” when determining whether a patent for an invention discloses sufficient utility under s. 2 of the Patent Act.

In a controversial 7-2 decision said to be a global first, the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld a B.C. court’s Internet “takedown order” that requires Google to block from its worldwide search results certain websites alleged to be selling equipment based on the pirated intellectual property of a Canadian company. The top court’s June 28 judgment (Justices Suzanne Côté and Malcolm Rowe dissented) upholding the decisions of the B.C. courts below, affirms that Canadian courts have authority under the common law to block Internet search results outside Canada’s borders: Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. 2017 SCC 34.

Cristin Schmitz reports that the Supreme Court has adopted a restrictive approach to the hearsay test for threshold reliability in a 5-2 decision that affirms a new trial for a B.C. man convicted of two murders based partly on what the majority deemed to be an inadmissible video re-enactment by his alleged accomplice. Justice Andromache Karakatsanis’s majority judgment June 29 concisely summarizes the four steps trial judges should follow in determining when they can rely on corroborative evidence to conclude that the threshold reliability of a hearsay statement is established: R. v. Bradshaw 2017 SCC 35.

The Alberta Court of Appeal’s most senior puisne judge has charged that Alberta’s top judge has given “certain” unnamed judges on their court “a disproportionate opportunity ... to shape” its sentencing jurisprudence — thus potentially breeding public “suspicions or perceptions of want of impartiality” at the court. Justice Ronald Berger’s bald and startling allegation against Chief Justice of Alberta, Catherine Fraser, is found in R. v. Gashikanyi 2017 ABCA 194, a June 21 sentencing decision that was under reserve for 18 months.

Monty Verlint and Jandre Ljubicic’s analysis article examines the ongoing uncertainty surrounding random drug and alcohol testing.  

Steven Benmor’s analysis article looks at parenting co-ordination, and how despite its benefits it is still misunderstood by courts.

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer's Daily.