Friday, February 12, 2010

Nelson Landry Appointed to Copyright Board

Nelson Landry from Montreal has been appointed as a part time Member of the Copyright Board.

Nelson has had a long and very distinguished career as an IP litigator and contributor to the profession. He retired from full time practice in 2002. Only seven years after he was called to the bar in 1969, he and Malcom McLeod won a major victory in the Supreme Court of Canada in the MacDonald v. Vapor case, in which s. 7(e) of the Trade-marks Act was declared to be unconstitutional in a decision written by Laskin, C.J.C. That section dealt with "any other business practice contrary to honest industrial or commercial usage in Canada." The section was a sort of catch-all provision for unfair competition/tort/civil delictual liability. Laskin, CJC's judgment is a classic and a landmark not only in IP law but constitutional law generally.

This has been the only successful constitutional challenge to a Canadian IP statutory provision to date, which is a huge milestone and hard to match. Believe me - I know, having tried to use this very decision to challenge the private copying levy scheme. The result was close, but no cigar.

Nelson has been very active in ALAI, a major international copyright organization.

This is an excellent appointment and I congratulate Nelson and the Copyright Board.


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