Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

USTR Wants Canada to Implement IP Protection at Border - Canadian Trade Lawyers Cheer

The Obama administration added Canada Thursday to a notorious intellectual property blacklist of countries. One of the key issues is Canada's lack of border enforcement of copyright. Washington wants Canada to put an end to the flow of pirated and counterfeit movies and DVDs that cross Canada's borders. In particular, Washington wants Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) customs officers to be granted legislative authority to seize pirated materials rather than requiring CBSA officers / the Department of Justice to seek a court order each time they suspect a shipment of counterfeit goods. The USTR stated that in the annual report issued on April 30, 2009 that “Canada's weak border measures continue to be a serious concern for intellectual property owners."

Canadian trade lawyers welcome the suggestion for another border mechanism. The United States has Section 337 trade remedies (Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. Section 1337) - and Canadian lawyers would like a similar mechanism. The primary remedy available in U.S. Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs Customs to stop infringing imports from entering the United States. In addition, the International Trade Commission may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337. Expedited relief in the form of temporary exclusion orders and temporary cease and desist orders may also be available in certain exceptional circumstances.

I understand that there are more section 337 cases in the United States than other trade remedies. So, as a Canadian trade lawyer, I fully support the idea of another tool for intellectual property owners.

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