On March 3, McCarthy Tétrault partner
Steven Mason filed an Amicus brief in the United States Supreme
Court in the high profile Aereo case in support of the broadcasters
and studio appellants who are challenging Aereo's business
model of re-transmitting TV broadcasts over the Internet
without paying retransmission royalties. The brief argues that the
international, bi-lateral and multilateral treaties the United
States agreed to requires US courts to provide a broad
technologically neutral right of communication to the public that
would fully cover Aereo's service.
The brief is signed by a "who's who" of
international rights holders, including the International
Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the International
Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), International
Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC),
International Federation of Actors (FIA), International Federation
of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), International Federation of
Musicians (FIM), International Video Federation (IVF), national
associations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, and
leading international copyright scholars from around the world
including McCarthy Tétrault partner Barry
Sookman. The Amici and their counsel which included co-counsel
David Carson, the former General Counsel of the US Copyright Office
and now IFPI's global head of legal policy was assisted by
Dan Glover an IP partner also at McCarthy Tétrault.
It is very unusual for a Canadian law firm to file a brief in
the United States Supreme Court as only U.S. lawyers can appear
before the court. However, McCarthy Tétrault litigator
Steven Mason previously practiced IP litigation in California and
is admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.
McCarthy Tétrault's IP Litigation Group is recognized
as one of Canada's leading practices defending patents,
trademarks, trade secrets, copyright, industrial designs and other
intellectual property assets across a broad range of
A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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