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Copyright Claims must be Pleaded with Particularity, Otherwise they are Subject to Being Struck

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Toronto Office

January 17, 2014

Previously published on January 14, 2014

(AOM) NA Inc. v. Reveal Group, 2013 ONSC 8014

The defendants have successfully struck the claim for copyright infringement against them, but the plaintiffs were provided leave to amend. The plaintiff sells and implements a method and software designed for the management of processing centres and incoming contact centres. It is alleged that the defendant copied   the method and software and then used their own version to lure away important clients.

The Court held that the chain of title and the particulars of the right or interest in the copyrighted work must be pled because they are a part of the statutory right of action. Furthermore, the Court noted that the plaintiff must specify what it is that is covered by copyright and what it alleges has been done that gives rise to the statutory remedies. The copyright claims were struck with leave to amend to add these particulars to ensure technical compliance with the Copyright Act.

There was also a related trade secret claim that the Court declined to strike, noting that it would be ludicrous to compel a plaintiff to set out a trade secret with precision in the pleading. Further information may be provided at production and in discovery, but at that point confidentiality orders may be in place to protect the information.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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