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The LEGO case: The Supreme Court of Canada makes it harder

June 2006

The thesis of this article is that the Supreme Court's view on these issues created too high a hurdle for functional product shapes to act as trademarks. The court did not recognize that the settled functionality doctrine is too inflexible and overlooked cases that presented a more nuanced view.

Watch out for ''return the favour'' practices!

April 2006

In business, one often hears the expression ''return the favour.'' While this approach can rightfully enable a business to progress, a recent decision has specified that it is unacceptable for engineers to make it a systematic practice.

Where do we stand with polygraphs?

November 2005

A polygraph is a machine also commonly referred to as a “lie detector”. It is used occasionally at the request of claims adjusters and, less often, by individuals wishing to add weight to their insurance claims.

The dark side of expropriation

July 2005

In certain circumstances, Quebec's Expropriation Law can result in a denial of justice for the owners of properties against which notices of reserve have been taken.

Corporate governance - The case of Peoples Department Stores Inc.

April 2004

Peoples Department Stores Inc. (Trustee of) v. Wise provides some breathing room for directors: it gives relief to those who act in good faith when trying to rectify problems at an insolvent company, even if their actions prove to be more hindrance than help. ''The principal question we were debating was: Is there a fiduciary duty owed to creditors of a corporation?'' says Eric Lalanne, partner at De Grandpré Chait who represented Wise Brothers. ''It took us by surprise when the court looked at the duty of care.''

Seizures before judgment: A new interpretation

January 2005

The Code of Civil Procedure (C.C.P.) provides that in the course of legal proceedings, the plaintiff may, with the authorization of a judge, seize before judgment the property of the defendant, when there is reason to fear that without this remedy the recovery of his debt may be put in jeopardy.