“narrow Claims For Focused Protection: Tailoring Your Patent Strategy”

“narrow Claims For Focused Protection: Tailoring Your Patent Strategy” – Are there laws to protect against suspicious relationships? In Ontario, laws such as the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 govern various mandatory rights and responsibilities within transactions involving a business and consumer. Concerns include fair dealing as well as guarantees regarding quality, among others.

In the world of commerce, and in particular matters of consumer transactions, the individual person as a purchasing consumer is often at a significant disadvantage in business dealings, especially when such business dealings involve large corporations. To help level the playing field, to ensure that individual consumers are treated fairly in business dealings, consumer protection laws were put in place.


“narrow Claims For Focused Protection: Tailoring Your Patent Strategy”

Without the protection of consumer protection statutes, consumers would be subject to the common law and the old expression of buyer beware or

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Principles, the common law as decided by judges also contains protections for consumers, such as implied warranties requiring sellers to supply products fit for their intended purpose or to perform a good job.

Avoiding vehicles with lemons; Includes legal guarantees for the consumer… Unfair business practices prohibited by consumer protection law;… Changes in the price of services; Expiration of existing contract required…

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Avoiding lemon vehicles Although Ontario law lacks a specific ‘lemon law’, in some circumstances there are different laws that apply in such a way as to protect a buyer of a… Learn more

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Unfair practices Consumer laws, such as the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, provide protection against unfair practices such as misrepresentations, among others. Learn more Defamation litigation involves a careful selection of strategies that legally justify defamatory behavior Page last modified: May 23, 2023

Can a defamation case be successfully defended? Successful defense of a defamation action can occur when the defendant shows that the defamatory statements were true or subject to fair comment or protected by privilege.

As explained on the previous entry page, defamation by libel or libel occurs when a person utters or publishes false statements about another person and does so in a manner that is heard or seen by at least one person other than the person about whom the statement is made and where the words stated will reduce the reputation of the person about whom it is spoken or written. With that said, it is necessary to recognize that although a statement may be defamatory in that the words may tend to lower the reputation of another person, there are circumstances where defamatory words are legally permissible without risk of liability; and accordingly, there are defense strategies available to a suit alleging a wrongful defamation of character.

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The truth of defamatory words provides a justifiable reason for uttering or publishing words that are defamatory. In essence, while words may defame in the sense that the words, “

“, when the words are true, such reduction occurs because of the actual conduct of the plaintiff and not because of the defendant’s account of the conduct. On this basis, the spreading of true hearsay may be lawful from the point of view of defamation; however, see violation of privacy concerns, among others. Also, it is necessary to use a justification defense, which means to claim that what was said is true, the defense plea must be properly stated. Furthermore, the context is “

130 The defendants did not adduce justification, which is a prerequisite to relying on a defense that the words were true: Manitoba Free Press Co . c. Martin (1892), 21 S.C.R. 518 (S.C.C.). 131 In any event, such a defense would fail here because the burden is on the defendants to prove that the sting is true and they have not done so.

[35] Justification, or truth, is a defense to a defamation action. However, since defamatory words are presumed to be false, the defendant bears the burden of proving the essential truth of the “thimm” or main thrust of the defamatory words. There are no special rules or exceptions for media defendants. The result is that if a media defendant cannot prove the truth of the statement complained of to a court’s exacting standards, the defendant will be liable. It is no defense for the defendant to show that he followed accepted standards of investigation and verification and formed an honest and reasonable belief in the truth of the statements he published.

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[41]  The defense of justification requires the defendant to prove, “the essential truth of the ‘thrust’ or main thrust of the defamatory words” (Cusson v. Quan, 2007 ONCA 771, at para. 35, rev’ d on other grounds, 2009 SCC 62).

To make out a defense of fairness of comment, per Wan v. Lau, 2016 ONSC 127, a defendant must show that the offending statement was expressed merely as opinion rather than fact and, in the case of

, 2019 ONSC 326, will, among other things, have to prove five elements, including establishing that the comment was made as a matter of public interest. These requirements are well described and explained in the Supreme Court case of WIC Radio Ltd. v. Simpson, [2008] 2S.C.R.420:

[1]  This appeal asks the Court to reconsider the defense of fair comment which helps maintain the balance in defamation law between two fundamental values, namely respect for individuals and the protection of their reputations from unjustified injury on the one hand, and on on the other hand, freedom of expression and debate which is said to be “the lifeblood of our freedom and free institutions”: Price v. Chicoutimi Pulp Co. (1915), 1915 CanLII 66 (SCC), 51 S.C.R. 179, on p. 194. Under this law, if the plaintiff shows that the defendant has published something harmful to his or her reputation, then both falsity and injury are presumed, and the onus shifts to the defendants to establish an enforceable defense, including the defense of fair comment. In Cherneskey v. Armadale Publishers Ltd., 1978 CanLII 20 (SCC), [1979] 1 S.C.R. 1067, Dickson J., dissenting, identified the elements of the defense of “fair comment” as follows: (a) the comment must be on a matter of public interest; (b) the comment must be based on facts; (c) the comment, although it may include findings of fact, must be recognized as a comment; (d) the comment must meet the following objective test: can any person honestly express that opinion on the facts established? (e) although the comment satisfies the objective test, the defense may be defeated if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was induced by express malice. [Emphasis in original deleted; page 1099-1100.] (citing Duncan and Neill on Defamation (1978), at p. 62) Although in that case a majority of the Court insisted on framing the requirement of good faith in subjective terms (the comment must express an opinion honestly held by the speaker), I believe that experience has shown that Dixon J.’s “objective” formulation of the “honest belief” test better accords with the requirements of free expression endorsed as a fundamental value of our society by s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Of course, even if the elements of the “fair comment” defense are established, the plaintiff may still succeed by establishing that the defendant was motivated by malice, that is, by an indirect or improper motive unrelated to the purpose for which the defense exists. ( Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Dalrymple, 1965 CanLII 9 (SCC), [1965] S.C.R. 302, at p. 309).

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[24]  The defendant has the burden of establishing these five elements for the defense of fair comment to apply: (1) a comment, not a statement of fact; (2) made on correct facts; (3) on a matter of public interest; (4) fairly made; and (5) done without malice. [25]  The Ontario Court of Appeal recently decided a number of cases that have confirmed that the recent SLAPP legislation does not change the law as it relates to public interest claims, nor does it have new public interest defences. Defamation law remains largely unchanged. [26] The defense may be raised on this basis if the defendant proves that: (1) the publication was about a matter of public interest; (2)  the publication was responsible or that it was diligent in attempting to verify the claims having regard to all relevant circumstances, including; a. the seriousness of the claim; b. public importance of the issue; c. the urgency of the matter; d. the status and credibility of the source; e. whether the plaintiff’s side of the story has been correctly sought and reported; p. whether the inclusion of the defamatory statement was justifiable; g. if the public interest of the defamatory statement lies in the fact that it was made and not in its truth; and h. any other relevant circumstances.

[35] Commentary is a statement of opinion. Statements of fact are not protected by the defense of fair comment. And to defend as a fair comment,

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