Canadian app developers must take care to avoid sanction from
regulators both in Canada and in other countries - particularly in
the U.S. - when launching apps.
California's Attorney General recently began notifying dozens of app
developers that they run afoul of the California Online Privacy
Protection Act by failing to post their privacy policies.
Developers were given 30 days to comply or face fines of up to
$2,500 for each download of a
non-compliant app. In Canada, federal and provincial privacy
laws also mandate the disclosure of privacy policies and the
use of a privacy officer, though the legislation is broadly
applicable to the private sector and is not targetted specifically
at mobile app developers.
Today the Washington Post ran a story about
the FTC's crack down on apps that make "flimsy" claims
about the health effects of certain apps which claim to cure
various ills through cellphone sound, light from the screen, or
phone vibrations. Some app developers have been hit with fines (see
related article below). The FDA is reportedly preparing draft
regulations to regulate health claims made in mobile apps.
In Canada, another app developer faced the ire of the CRTC (the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada's
telecommunications regulator). The CRTC's objection to the
TrapCall mobile app was apparently based on privacy concerns and
the protection of subscriber data, though it is likely prompted by
pressure from telecos. TrapCall circumvents the paid call-blocking
products offered by telcos, and disrupts a revenue stream - after
all, who will pay for call-blocking if ubiquitous mobile apps can
unblock calls? But it reflects a wider issue regarding
technological innovation in the mobile app space that is colliding
with established industry practices and (at times) an outdated
Lessons for app developers?
We've said it before: Get advice on privacy before you
launch your app.
Ensure that your claims do not offend regulatory requirements
in the countries where your customers reside - whether the
requirements are health related, safety regulations, or other
advertising /marketing regulations.
Well-drafted end-user license agreements (EULAs), privacy
The Federal Court dismissed a motion by Apotex seeking particulars from Allergan's pleading relating to the prior art, inventive concept, promised utility and sound prediction of utility of the patents at issue.
Last year we saw the Canadian Courts release trademark decisions that granted a rare interlocutory injunction, issued jailed sentences for failure to comply with injunctive relief, grappled with trademark and internet issues...
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