Blogs list

Solomon Gold - Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP - Solomon Gold

What Information Does an Applicant Have to Include When Filing A Patent Application? - Sponsored Content You’ve decided that you want to file a patent application for your invention.  What information about the invention do you have to disclose in your application? The Canadian Patent Act states that an application must correctly and fully describe the invention and its operation or use as contemplated by the inventor.  To meet this requirement, the application will include a written description of the invention, supported by drawings, where appropriate.  The application will also include at least one claim which defines the scope of the applicant’s invention.  Care is usually taken when consulting with a patent professional to craft claims that best capture the invention by including components that define the invention while at the same time differentiate from what has come before.  While the scope of the claims has traditionally been seen as the most important part of the application, courts in Canada and in the United States have recently been considering what constitutes an adequate description as well. A patent is often thought of as a bargain between an applicant and the government granting the patent.  In exchange for the applicant’s disclosure of the invention in the application, the government grants a patent for an invention meeting criteria for patentability, the patent giving the patentee exclusivity in what it has claimed for the term of the patent.  The application will be published eighteen months following filing, and the description must be sufficient to enable anyone to practice the invention once the period of exclusivity expires. Therefore, what is set out in…

Photo : Solomon Gold August 14, 2015

Warren Creates - Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP - Warren Creates

Working in Canada: What is Work, and when is a Work Permit needed? - Sponsored Article In the Canadian immigration context, ‘work’ is broadly defined. Even volunteers, those providing services in a private residence, and student interns may require a work permit, and may run into trouble if they do not have one. This article helps to explain when a work permit is needed and why. Beware the dreaded report from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):  working without a work permit!  It is often a fatal allegation, and hard to disprove. Deportation can often result. The test is balance of probabilities, and grounds to believe.  The threshold is rather low.  All the Canadian government needs is “reasonable grounds to believe” that a foreign national has done any work at all, even in the form of help, without having a valid work permit. The Regulations to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) contain the general definition of “work” requiring a work permit:  any “activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market”.  Like most of our Canadian laws, it is not the legal definition that tells the story, but instead the interpretation of it by government policy-makers, immigration officials, and courts. The news here is rather unfortunate.  Whereas business owners, managers, visitors to Canada and other foreign nationals in Canada hope for a permissive or relaxed interpretation, the opposite is generally true.  The definition in the Regulations has been interpreted as broadly as can be imagined. Businesses and employers often…

Photo : Warren  Creates July 13, 2015

Michael Citrome - Barrett Tax Law Firm - Michael Citrome

Moving Provinces? Avoid a Surprise Tax Bill - People move between provinces all the time. Here in Ottawa, we are constantly leapfrogging between Quebec and Ontario, whether it’s for a meeting, shopping, lunch, or for a new home. But for income tax purposes, moving between provinces takes on great significance, especially when moving from a province with higher income tax rates to one where you’ll pay less – like from Quebec to Ontario. Under the income tax rules, an individual can only be a resident of a single province or territory in a given year. In general, the province where you reside on December 31 of a given year is your province of residence for the entire year. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? The problem is the word “reside” – it doesn’t always mean what you think it does. Your Residence Is Not Obvious Let’s say you live in Ottawa but you spent New Year’s with your family in Whistler. Although you were sleeping at your cousin’s house on the night of December 31 (or maybe you were up all night partying), no one would say you “resided” in British Columbia at that time. Even though you were sleeping in BC, you still resided in Ontario. That example is simple, but it gets complicated. Same Job, Same Pay, Different Tax Rate Before we get into the complications, why is all this so important? As with most tax issues, it comes down to money. Residents of different provinces pay different rates of income tax. In Ottawa, one of a handful of Canadian metropolitan areas that…

Photo : Michael  Citrome August 07, 2015

David Lowdon - Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP - David Lowdon

Better Capital Raising Opportunities for Small Businesses and Start-ups - Sponsored Article A New Family, Friends and Business Associates Exemption for Ontario The first source of funding for many small businesses or start-ups is the owner’s network of family, friends and business associates.  While other jurisdictions have a prospectus exemption catering to this fundraising opportunity, for several years Ontario has not. The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) recently announced a new prospectus exemption for investments by family, friends and business associates (the “FFBA Exemption”).  The FFBA exemption came into effect on May 5, 2015. The FFBA Exemption recognizes that existing networks of family, friends and business associates may be the most cost-efficient way for early stage companies to raise capital without disclosure requirements or intermediary involvement.  It will likely broaden access to capital beyond what is currently available under the existing Private Issuer exemption and it replaces Ontario’s much narrower Founder, Control Person and Family Exemption.  It will also increase investment opportunities for investors who are closely related to the corporation but who would not have qualified under previously existing exemptions. The FFBA Exemption introduces two new requirements.  First, an issuer will be required to submit a report of exempt distribution to the OSC.  In addition, a risk acknowledgement form must be signed by both the investor and the issuer.   The FFBA Exemption has the following key conditions: It is available to both reporting and non-reporting issuers but is not available to investment funds. The exemption applies to a distribution of any security by an issuer or selling security holder. There is no limit on…

Photo : David  Lowdon June 12, 2015

Amy Alksnis - BrazeauSeller.LLP - Amy Alksnis

What is a Shareholders’ Agreement and Why Does My Company Need One? - Sponsored Article Clients often wonder why they need a shareholders’ agreement, particularly in a family-owned business where each of the shareholders are related to each other by blood or marriage. Entering into such an agreement is sometimes construed as a sign of distrust of the other shareholders, and met with a response such as “we’re family and we can work out any issues between ourselves; we don’t need an agreement for that.” However, just as no one enters into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce, very few business owners into a new business relationship expecting it to turn sour. The reality is that these types of relationships do not always progress as pleasantly as expected, and coming to an agreement during the “honeymoon” stage of a business relationship on how future events and potential disputes are to be dealt with may save the parties from bitter disputes and costly litigation down the road. Further, a shareholder agreement typically deals with inevitable life events, such as the death of a shareholder, and is not limited to the resolution of disputes that may or may not arise. A shareholders’ agreement is a contract between the shareholders of a corporation, setting out the rules for the management and operation of the corporation, and the rights and obligations of the shareholders in relation to one another. A shareholders’ agreement is not a one-size fits all document, and should be structured to fit the unique situation of a corporation and its shareholders. While there is no “standard” form…

Photo : Amy  Alksnis July 06, 2015