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RSM100Y1 (431)

RSM100Y1 Appendix C

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Rotman Commerce
Michael Khan

RSM100Y1 Textbook Notes Appendix C  A patent gives an inventor exclusive rights to an invention for a period of time.  Patents take a long time to process, and patent infringement cases can take even longer. o Many firms turn to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) because it can move these cases along faster then other courts/agencies.  The US is known as the world’s most litigious society because of what seems like an unreasonable fondness for filing lawsuits.  It is estimated that the average US family pays a hidden “litigation tax” of 5% each year because the costs of lawsuits force businesses to increase their prices.  Lawsuits are as much a Canadian concern as they are American because of the high level of business exchange that takes place across our common border.  Judiciary: the branch of government that is responsible for applying laws to settle disagreements; also known as the court system. o This system consists of several types and levels of courts, each with a specific jurisdiction. o They are organized at the federal, provincial, and local levels.  Administrative agencies (i.e. CRTC) also perform some limited judicial functions, but are more properly viewed as regulatory branches of government. Federal Both Provincial Exclusive powers over Hear civil and criminal Rule mainly on civil areas that concern the cases. matters such as property entire country, including law. criminal law, defence, May empower municipal currency, and governments to pass local telecommunications laws.  The Supreme Court of Canada will hear only lower-level appeal court cases that they select. o Chosen on the basis of their perceived importance to the entire country.  Generally, each province has a similar court structure with a provincial court level and a superior court level. o Provincial:  Deal with minor criminal and civil cases. o Superior:  Include trial and appeal courts.  Generally deal with more serious matters, including murder.  There are several specialized courts (i.e. tax court).  Law: the standards set by government and society in the form of either legislation or custom. o Govern the actions of all members of society.  Common law: laws that result from judicial decisions, some of which can be traced to early England. o I.e. common law marriage (after x amount of years a couple is considered husband and wife by common law).  Statutory law: written law that includes provincial, state, and federal constitutions; legislative enactments; treaties of the federal government; and ordinances of local governments. o Statutes must be drawn precisely and reasonably to be constitutional, and thus enforceable.  International law: the numerous regulations that govern international trade. o Companies must be aware of:  The domestic laws of their trading partners  Trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA)  The rulings by such groups as the World Trade Organization o Manufacturers and distributors are held liable by the various government regulatory bodies for the quality of their foreign-made products. o Recent recalls have all stemmed from products made in China usually for toxic chemicals used in the products (i.e. corrosive gases in construction drywall manufactured in China).  Business law: those parts of law that most directly influence and regulate the management of business activity.  Specific laws vary widely in their intent from business to business and from industry to industry (i.e. legal interests of airlines differ from legal interests of oil companies).  Some laws affect all businesses that operate in a province (i.e. workers’ comp.).  Other provincial laws apply to only certain firms or business activities (i.e. specific licensing requirements for businesses such as law firms).  Many local laws deal with specific business activities (i.e. guiding the sizes and types of business signs allowed).  Governments swing between increased regulation and deregulation depending on: o Public opinion o The economy o The political climate  The main goal is the protection of healthy competition.  The federal Competition Act: o Guards against monopolies o Guards against price-fixing  Price-fixing: an agreement between two or more businesses to set a price for the goods they sell in the marketplace. o Ensures consumers have a choice in the marketplace o Ensures businesses are free to compete o Prohibits any contract or agreement for the purpose of limiting trade  Market allocation: an agreement to divide the market among potential competitors.  Boycott in restraint of trade: an agreement between businesses not to sell or buy from a particular entity.  Business law includes: o Contract law and the law of agency o Sales law and negotiable instruments law o Property law and the law of bailment o Trademark, patent, and copyright law o Tort law o Bankruptcy law o Tax law  Contract: a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties regarding a specified act or thing.  Four elements of an enforceable contract are: o Agreement  The parties must reach an agreement about the act or thing specified. o Consideration  Each party must supply consideration.  Consideration: the value or benefit that each party provides to the other with whom the contract is made (i.e. payment for a job). o Legal and Serious Purpose  Agreements made as a joke or involving the commission of crimes are not enforceable as legal contracts (i.e. a contract to price-fix). o Capacity  The legal ability of a part to enter into agreements (i.e. the law does not permit legally enforceable contracts by certain people, such as those judged to be insane).  Contracts govern almost all types of business activities.  Breach of contract: a violation of a valid contract. o The injured party can go to court to enforce the contract provisions and, in some cases, collect damages.  Damages: financial payments to compensate for a loss and related suffering.  Agency relationship: exists when one party, called the principal, appoints another party, called the agent, to enter into contracts with third parties on the principal’s behalf. o Many firms conduct business affairs through a variety of agents (i.e. partners, directors etc.).  The law of agency is based on common-law principles and case law decisions of provincial and federal courts. o Little agency law has been enacted into statute.  Respondeat superior (Latin maxim meaning “let the master answer”): the legal basis for holding the principle liable for acts of the agent. o Generally, the principle is held liable if an agency relationship exists and the agent has some type of authority to do the wrongful act (the agent is liable to the principle for any damages).  Sales law: the law governing the sale of goods or services for money or on credit. o Based on the conduct of the parties. o Generally requires written agreements for enforceable sales contracts.  If it is missing terms or includes unclear terms, it can still be legally enforced. o To look at whether a legal contract exists a court will look at:  Past dealings  Commercial customs  Other standards of reasonableness o They will also look at these variables if a buyer or seller tries to enforce his or rights as a result of the other party to completely meeting the terms of the contract or meeting them in a defective or unsatisfactory way. o Monetary damages are usually awarded to the injured parties. o The law
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