Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy

Document Type


English Abstract

This lecture scans how the Supreme Court has been interpreting Canada’s intellectual property laws and how its decisions may affect legislative policy. The Court has become more interested and competent in this field than was the case even a couple of decades ago. The approach in two decisions of the Court, Compo Co. Ltd v. Blue Crest Music Inc. (1979) and Euro-Excellence Inc. v. Kraft Canada Inc. (2007) is particularly compared. Compo contains propositions which unintendedly cast a baneful influence over later law, while Kraft sees the Court split four ways in a case where copyright law was used unsuccessfully to attempt to block parallel imports of chocolate bars into Canada. The lecture concludes that such decisions, among others, expose how inadequately successive governments have monitored intellectual property law developments. It calls for an independent commission to develop a more coherent intellectual property code that will advance Canadian economic interests and be readily understood by its users.