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The Federal Court of Canada will embrace virtual hearings for IP

Months into a prolonged COVID-19 shutdown, many organizations are exploring various tech-based methods to continue to operate efficiently. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to learn that the Court is turning to virtual hearings in an effort to keep the judicial system moving forward. While various concerns centered on procedural fairness and information security have been raised, the Court has stated they are more concerned that continuing to delay will ultimately have devastating effects.

One matter that continues to arise relates to a witness providing testimony over videoconference. Opponents argue that it is difficult to both establish a witness’s credibility and effectively examine the witness behind various technical methodologies. The Court, however, disagreed. Intellectual property actions can continue with the use of Zoom, the eTrial Tool Kit and other advanced technology systems.

What is intellectual property?

As companies develop new products, improve processes, create new brands, refine designs and program original software, these can be considered intellectual assets or intellectual property. In a knowledge-based economy, a business will protect its intangible assets with the same level of security used to protect tangible, or physical, assets.

However, it is not uncommon for new products, designs or software to be released on different platforms by different organizations at the same time. Organizations look to the legal system to not only protect their investment but hold those they feel are responsible for dubious activity accountable. A strong defence lawyer can thoroughly examine the situation and build an effective case to protect the client and limit his or her exposure to criminal penalties.

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