Canadian Lawyer

May 2024

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 40 of 51 39 Amazon, which Anthony says is the first case in Canada to rule on this issue. The case highlights how rightsholders should avoid false or misleading complaints that discredit a competitor. Anthony says that, in uncertain cases, engaging with your competitor directly through a demand letter may be more effective than immediately complaining to online marketplaces. He says AI can also be used defensively, such as embedding digital signatures in code to detect unauthorized use. Nelson Godfrey is a lawyer and national practice group leader of the trademarks group at Gowling WLG. He says IP infringement can occur for clients across various industries. Product-based industries' primary concern lies with counterfeit and knockoff products being sold under similar names, often involving trademark infringement or passing off. In media and entertainment, unauthorized use of characters and trademarks in online merchandise is prevalent. He also says social media platforms are often misused to sell unauthorized products and create unauthorized profiles. Godfrey says for many clients, there is often an overwhelming volume of infringements. "People don't put up one infringing listing. People put up hundreds of infringing listings." To help clients combat this, Gowling WLG developed an AI tool to detect infringement called the "Saturn brand protection service." The tool was a collaborative effort between the firm's Canadian and UK offices. Godfrey says the tool has been in the works for several years, so it isn't "a reaction to the current trend in AI tools." The tool analyzes trademarks, logos, and other forms of IP, comparing them against online content to flag potential unauthorized uses. Client feedback refines the tool's accuracy and adaptability to evolving infringer tactics. "The software will learn, so the AI technology will kick in and further respond to feedback," he says. Some clients prefer to use the tool directly and pay a subscription fee, and Gowling WLG will offer consultation or a lawyer's time for any required follow-up. "It's a great tool to increase our efficiency Keezio Group, LLC v. The Shrunks' Family Toy Company Inc., 2024 BCSC 64: Keezio and The Shrunks both sold inflatable beds for children on Amazon The Shrunks initiated trademark and copyright complaints against Keezio Keezio filed a claim against The Shrunks in the BC Supreme Court The court found The Shrunks did not hold the trademark and copyright rights The court awarded Keezio damages of US$24,450 with CAD$9,500 in costs GROUNDLESS ONLINE TAKEDOWN COMPLAINTS Source:Smart & Biggar LLP IP Update

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