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Whelton Hiutin LLP Successful in Appeal Concerning Licensing and Misappropriation of Corporate Opportunities

Whelton Hiutin LLP lawyers Maureen Whelton, Ed Hiutin and Meaghan Coker were recently successful in a significant appeal concerning the law of licensing and misappropriation of corporate opportunities. The Court of Appeal upheld a $2.5 million trial judgment that followed a 22-day trial in which Whelton Hiutin acted for the plaintiffs.

The dispute concerned whether the defendants had breached fiduciary obligations and a license agreement relating to certain powder coating technologies by starting a competing business. The Court of Appeal concluded, among other things, that the parties’ license agreement had granted an exclusive worldwide license in perpetuity; that the license agreement was reasonable, valid, and enforceable; and that the fiduciary obligations of the defendant licensor continued after he left the business. The case has important implications for commercial and intellectual property law given the findings made on the enforceability of the license and the licensing of “know-how”.

A copy of the appeal decision, 7868073 Canada Ltd. v. 1841978 Ontario Inc., 2024 ONCA 371, can be found here. The trial decision, 7868073 Canada Ltd. v. 1841978 Ontario Inc., 2022 ONSC 4557, can be found here.