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Maryam Shahidi | October 26, 2020
Lauren Parker | August 18, 2020
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt across many industries and in businesses both large and small, including those within franchise systems. As the pandemic continues, and as governments across Canada enact legislation to combat its effects, franchisors will need to ensure that their disclosure reflects the impact of COVID-19 on their franchise system.
The Importance of Disclosure during a Pandemic
Stephanie Chong | August 4, 2020
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brilliants exploits.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Idan Erez | July 20, 2020
Typically, franchise agreements are written documents that include detailed terms describing the legal rights and obligations of the franchisee and franchisor.
Idan Erez | June 26, 2020
In response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “Court”) suspended all regular operations on March 15, 2020. The suspension included the adjournment of hearings that were already scheduled and a moratorium on requests for new hearings, except for urgent ones.
Urgent hearings were permitted to continue out of recognition that access to justice must always remain available in order to permit the Court to continue to play its fundamental role in our constitutional democracy.
Stephanie Chong | June 19, 2020
The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 led to a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, as evidenced by a groundswell of protests around the world.
Less than one month later, Quaker Oats’ parent company PepsiCo announced that its “Aunt Jemima” brand of over 130 years would be retired, recognizing that the brand’s origins are based on racial stereotypes. Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrups have long been breakfast staples around North American kitchen tables. The brand was based on a song, “Old Aunt Jemima”, which was apparently popular in minstrel shows. These shows were a form of American theatre based on purportedly comic racial stereotypes, featuring white performers in blackface portraying Black people in an often derogatory manner.
Lloyd Hoffer | May 12, 2020
A Primer on Reading Your Insurance Policy
No, this isn’t a blog post about whether or not your insurance covers losses arising out of COVID-19. That’s a question that is dependent on the particular language of your policy and even then, there can be a certain amount of grey arising from the application of existing law to new circumstances, of which COVID-19 and its associated consequences are one. We may not even know the answer in any given case until after we have the benefit of some judicial decisions to guide us. So if you have a serious question about COVID-19, you need to be speaking directly with your lawyer to evaluate your specific situation.
But if, in contrast, you’ve been prompted by COVID-19 (or anything else) to pull out your insurance documents and just have a look, if you are a homeowner, or a business owner, or perhaps even a lawyer who doesn’t normally work with insurance documents, you might be wondering just what the *!? you are looking at. This blog post is for you.
Stephanie Chong | May 12, 2020
COVID Considerations – Effective Brand Management during a Pandemic
Trademarks are a key part of brand management. In view of uncertainties caused by COVID-19, effective brand management involves care and stewardship of a business’ trademarks to at least maintain, and hopefully increase, brand value through positive customer engagement.
In a previous blog post, we wrote about how a stoppage in business activities may affect the validity and enforceability of a trademark. We included some practical tips on steps that could be taken to avoid such a loss of rights.
Other COVID considerations which may factor into management of your brand are discussed below.
Extraordinary Circumstances Part II – What happens to a trademark when COVID-19 prevents a trademark owner from using the trademark in the normal course of business?
Stephanie Chong | April 20, 2020
Non-use of a trademark can be fatal to the validity and enforceability of a trademark. Thus, if a trademark owner cannot use its trademark, it may no longer be possible for the trademark owner to enforce its trademark rights against others, thus allowing competitors to engage in trademark infringement (or passing off) with impunity.
Such a scenario is of concern in the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is preventing many businesses from selling their goods or providing their services.