Intellectual Property

Government of Canada Blocks Proposed Fee on microSD Cards!

 The Government of Canada confirmed its July 3rd commitment to block fees on microSD cards in a clear regulation published on November 7th.  In it the Governor-In-Council, on recommendation of the Minister of Industry, specifically excluded microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards from the definition of “audio recording medium”. 

 EFC Government Relations met with officials from Industry Canada and Canadian Heritage with respect to EFC’s views on the Copyright Modernization Act, and the then proposed fee on memory cards.  EFC was noted, along with other associations and CEMC member companies, as being part of the consultative process on this issue. 

 The microSD exemption is a huge win for EFC.  If imposed, the levies would have resulted in an unfair cost to consumers and potentially stifled innovation within our industry.  Instead, the current no-levy status on microSD cards remains in place.  The Copyright Board has the authority to consider fees on new forms of audio recording media.  EFC Government Relations will keep members apprised of any developments in this area.

For a copy of the regulations, please click here .For a copy of the Government of Canada announcement, please click here

For questions or concerns regarding the Copyright Modernization Act and the microSD issue please contact Brisette Lucas, Vice President, Government Relations & Policy and Chief Privacy Officer, at blucas@electrofed.comor 905-602-6214. 

 Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

 On April 13th, Brisette Lucas and Wally Hill of CMA hosted a brief call with Sean Spear of Prime Minister’s Office regarding the regulations to CASL. We briefly updated him on our past meetings with officials from Industry Canada and focused our comments on two areas: 1) Consent and the unnecessary costs and disruption of any shift from the PIPEDA standards, specifically grandfathering PIPEDA compliant consents in existing databases, and 2) The importance of having a proper notice period after the regulations are finalised, observing that many organizations had commented that 1 year would be appropriate. Sean wants to re-connect with us around late April/early May once they have seen and understand Industry Canada positions, and he advised that the concerns we raised would be part of their discussions.

Implementation of CBP Trade Secret Information Sharing: On April 24thVictoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, released the following notice:

Today, I am pleased to inform you that, effective immediately, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can begin sharing information with trademark holders. This will assist CBP in making independent infringement determinations and provide a badly needed mechanism and authority that will assist in weeding out fake products with counterfeit marks.

CBP has informed me that they are issuing guidance to field offices, ports and personnel today. Inspectors at ports of entry to will begin implementing this policy immediately. These illegal products, which rob innovators and threaten the health and safety of the American people, will be stopped while providing the appropriate safeguards and due process for importers of legitimate products.

In March of 2011, we sent the Administration’s White Paper on Intellectual Property Enforcement Legislative Recommendations to Congress. One of the recommendations was that Congress provide authority for DHS (specifically CBP) to disclose information appearing on products to right holders in order to help CBP determine the authenticity of imports suspected of bearing counterfeit trademarks.

In December, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 included language on trade secret information sharing because of concern over counterfeit electronics infiltrating the supply chain of the Department of Defense. An amendment to the underlying bill by Senators Levin and McCain broadened the language to cover all counterfeit goods entering the United States and subject to CBP inspection.

The Interim Final Rule was published in the Federal Register implementing Section 818(g) of the National Defense Authorization Act today. This Interim Final Rule amends 19 CFR 133.21 and permits CBP to share unredacted images and samples with trademark holders of items detained at the border.