John C. Cotter - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

John C. Cotter

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2014
Phone: 416-862-5662

John practises in the areas of intellectual property and information technology litigation and has a commercial litigation background. He has extensive experience in disputes  relating to trade-marks, copyright, domain names, trade secrets/confidential information, patents, counterfeit products, misleading advertising, software licensing and IT projects including disputes arising out of software development and software integration projects. John is anti-piracy counsel for a leading software company. Examples of his recent cases include: trade-mark, copyright and patent infringement actions; software licensing disputes; trade secrets/confidential information claims; disputes arising from software development and consulting projects; technology licensing and domain name disputes; misleading advertising claims; appeals from decisions of the Registrar of Trade-marks; and trade-mark expungement and opposition proceedings. John’s commercial litigation background includes contractual disputes, product liability matters and tort claims.  John also speaks and writes frequently on intellectual property and litigation matters and has served on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Patent Reporter.

Additional Information

Notable Matters
  • Microsoft Corporation. John was counsel for Microsoft in Microsoft Corporation v.9038-3746 Quebec Inc. in its successful claim relating to counterfeit software. This is a leading case on statutory damages under the Copyright Act where Microsoft received the largest statutory damage award to date in Canada of $500,000; it is the first case in Canada where a plaintiff received the maximum statutory damages of $20,000 per work infringed; and, punitive damages of $200,000 were awarded. In addition, Microsoft received an award of lump sum costs on a solicitor and client basis totalling over $1.6 million (Federal Court of Canada; 2007 FC 659; 2006 FC 1509).
  • Horn Abbot Ltd. John represented Horn Abbot Ltd., the company formed by the creators of the board game Trivial Pursuit, in its defence in Wall v. Horn Abbot Ltd. This 13 year legal battle relating to the creation of the Trivial Pursuit ended with the case being dismissed after a lengthy trial that spanned 4 months and which was subsequently re-opened to hear additional evidence. In addition to the success at trial, Horn Abbot Ltd. and the other defendants were successful on the issue of costs and were awarded lump sum costs of $1 million. They were also successful on various interlocutory issues throughout the action, including before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in having the jury struck prior to trial (Supreme Court of Nova Scotia; 2008 NSSC 4; 2007 NSSC 197; 2006 NSCA 60; 2006 NSCA 36).
University of Western OntarioBA University of Windsor
Counterfeiting and Trade Offences Committee, Canadian Bar Association Forums and Seminars Committee, Intellectual Property Institute of CanadaLitigation Committee, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada Anti-Counterfeiting Committee, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada Professional Development Committee, Canadian Bar Association (National Intellectual Property Law Section)

Office Location

100 King Street West
1 First Canadian Place
Suite 6200, P.O. Box 50
Toronto, ON M5X 1B8

Practice Areas

Intellectual Property Law