Appendix C Business Law – Emma Cai
Apple’s iPhone: Don’t Touch the Patents
The innovative device led to a long line of imitators. Apple also applied for
patents. However, since iPhone was launched, Apple has been the target of patent
infringement lawsuits by other firms. Nokia says the Apple has infringed on 10 of its
patents related to wireless handset. But Apple has countersued Nokia, claiming that
Nokia is infringing upon 13 ofApple’s patents.
Innovations happens so fast that it can be hard to know who came up with an idea first
and at what stage of development an idea should be considered proprietary. Many firms
are turning to the US International Trade Commission(ITC) instead of other courts and
agencies because ITC can move these cases along more quickly.
Apple also sued HTC recently for infringement of 20 Apple patents. Same case happens
in Canada, RIM’s lawsuit against Ted Livingston and his company, Kik Interactive Inc.
These cases highlight the importance of every businessperson understanding the basics of
business laws. Laws govern your business.
Appendix C overview
Legal issues affect every part of business. 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 percent each year
because the cost of lawsuits force businesses to increase their prices. Small businesses are
often the hardest hit.
Legal systems and administrative agencies
- Judiciary—the branch of government that is responsible for applying laws to settle
disagreement; also known as the court system.
- Court systems are organized at the federal, provincial, and local levels. Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission(CRTC) also perform some
limited judicial functions.
- Canadian’s court system is divided between the federal and provincial legislatures.
Federal government: criminal laws, defence, currency, and telecommunications.
Provincial government: civil matters such as property laws.
The provinces may empower municipal governments to pass local laws.
Both the federal and provincial courts hear civil and criminal cases - The supreme court of Canada will only hear lower-level appeal court cases that they
select. These cases are chosen on the basis of their perceived importance to the entire
- Each province has a similar court structure with a provincial court level and a
superior court level. Provincial court deals with minor civil and criminal cases. The
superior court including trial and appeal court will deal with more serious matters,
- There are also several specialized courts, such as tax court
Types of Law
- Law : the standard set by government and society in the form of either legislation or
- Common law: laws that result from judicial decisions, some of which can be traced to
early England. Example: in many countries, provinces, and states, an unmarried
couple who have lived together for a certain period of time are said to be legally
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
- International laws: the numerous regulation that govern international trades.
Companies must be aware of the domestic laws of their trading partners, trade
agreements such as North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) and rulings by
such groups as the WTO.
Example: defective and tainted products manufactured in China are were recalled.
Although the goods came from China, the companies that imported and sold these
products in Canada and the US were liable or legally responsible for the products’
- Business law : those parts of law that most directly influence and regulate the
management of business activities. Specific laws vary from industry to industry,
business to business
Regulatory environment for business
- Government regulation of business in North America has changed over time, swing
between increased regulation and deregulation. The goal of both types of legislation is
protection of healthy competition
- The federal Competition Act guards against monopolies, price-fixing and other
limitation on competition (market allocation, boycott in restraint of trade)
- The objectives of the Competition Act are to encourage competition and to prevent
monopolies The core of business law
- contract law and law of agency
agreement: must reach agreements about the act or thing specified
consideration: the value or benefit that each party provides to the others with whom
the contract is made. Example: assume that a builder hires an electrician to install
electrical wiring in a new house. The wiring job and the resulting payment are the
capacity: Example: the law does not permit legally enforceable contracts by certain
people, such as those judged to be insane.
legal and serious purpose: Example：An agreement between to companies to fix
the prices for their products is not enforceable as a contract because the subject matter
- The law of agency is based on common-law principles and case law decisions of
provincial and federal courts. The law of agency is important because the principle is
generally limited by the action of the agent.
- The legal basis for holding the principle liable for acts of the agent is the Latin
maxim respondeat superior(‘let the master answer’)
- Warranties: Products carry two basic types of warranties—an express warranty
and an implied warranty.
An express warranty is a specific representation made by the seller regarding the
products. An implied warranty is only legally imposed on the seller. Unless implied
warranties are disclaimed by the seller in writing, they are automatically in effect.
- Negotiable instruments: commercial paper that is transferable among individuals
and businesses. Such as cheque, drafts, certificates of deposit(CDs) and notes are also
sometimes considered negotiable instruments. The law specifies that a negotiable
instruments must be writte