Canadian Lawyer InHouse

October/November 2021

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 26 of 35 25 travel company often sees imitators in the form of local tour operators taking images from its website. "We're quite swift when it comes to being stewards of our IP," says Reiter. "Part of investing in branding is really making sure that you're standing up for that strategy and protecting your IP from third parties." In a recent webinar hosted by Smart & Biggar LLP and the Association of Corporate Counsel's Ontario chapter, Cameron Weir, senior counsel at Reckitt Benckiser (Canada), discussed some of the challenges that arose during the pandemic for trademark protection and counterfeiting. As the manufacturer of Lysol cleaning products which surged in popularity amid the pandemic, Reckitt faced many counterfeiting issues and the emergence of fake websites alleging to sell the product. "A number of organizations, including us, have seen large amounts of infringement and counterfeiting-related matters in this space," said Weir during the webinar. "Filing trade- marks and copyrights for commonly imitated parts or labels in countries with high-risk markets helps to effectively police brands and limit or block counterfeits." At Bolton, Ont.-based Husky Injection Molding Systems, maintaining a very proactive IP due diligence helps to ensure that products are free of third-party IP rights. "We are a leader in our marketplace, and we have a lot of admirers that let us do the hard work and try their very best to ride our coat-tails," says Geoffrey Gow, IP manager at Husky Injection Molding, a manufacturer of injection moulding equipment for the plastics industry. Gow keeps track of the movements of competitors as a defensive strategy to mitigate any threat. He also does defensive publication of new products to avoid IP lawsuits down the road. In an infringement situation, Roszell advises in-house counsel to work with law firm partners to assess the strength of the IP that is being asserted against them and assess the credibility of those rights. "If you can raise questions over the validity of the asserted IP, that can be a very powerful tool to resolving a dispute in a way that's advantageous," says Roszell. "Keep an eye on assets that your competitors have, so you can develop defensive strategies to mitigate your risks associated with IP rights." Patrick Roszell, Smart & Biggar LLP

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