Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Candian Supreme Court and the chocolate case

The Canadian Supreme Court recently ruled in the Euro-Excellence v. Kraft Foods case that copyright cannot be used as a technical legal barrier to the parallel importing of chocolate. Michael Geist tells the story better than I can.

Of course in the EU, IP holders don't need to resort to such copyright trickery. The protectionism... er... complications of the free market...

Interestingly and rarely for a copyright case the question of economic interests was central to the key opinions penned by the majority justices. Justice Bastarache wrote:

"sometimes a substantial reproduction of a copyrighted work will not be an infringement, because copyright protection is limited to protection of legitimate economic interests which are the result of an exercise of skill and judgment, and that protection must not be extended beyond its proper limits. The CCH decision thus confirms that in order to protect the essential balance which lies at the heart of copyright law, care must be taken to ensure that copyright protection is not allowed to extend beyond the legitimate interests of a copyright holder... once copyright is granted in a given work, the protection that it provides must not be extended beyond its natural limits, and must take proper account of user rights such as the right to deal fairly with a copyrighted work."

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