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Sales and Marketing Law

Course Code: BUSN 3710
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Business
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course will provide students with a strong grounding in several areas of law that commonly arise in the context of sales and marketing activities. The course will introduce students to the general framework of the Canadian legal system, including the constitutional protection provided for advertising as a form of speech. The course will also provide a thorough analysis of the common law and legislation concerning trade-marks and copyrights, as well as relevant provisions under federal and provincial consumer protection and competition legislation, including the provisions of the Competition Act and the Criminal Code applicable to activities such as promotional contests and pyramid schemes. The course will also include a review of privacy law as it applies to sales and marketing activities.

Course Content

1. Introduction to the field of law and the administration of justice

2. Sources of Canadian and British Columbia law

          a. distinction between private and public law

          b. Acts of the Canadian Parliament and the provincial legislatures (emphasis on British Columbia)

          c. Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

          d. subordinate legislation including by-laws and government regulations

          e. the court process, case law, and judicial precedent

 3. Intellectual Property

          a. trade-marks law

                       i. passing off

                       ii. registration of trade-marks

                       iii. infringement

                       iv. depreciation of goodwill

                       v. expunging marks from trade-marks registry

                       vi. domain name issues

                       vii. distinguishing guise

          b. copyright

                       i. creation of copyright protection

                       ii. moral rights

                       iii. infringement and exceptions, including fair dealing

          c. patents, trade secrets and confidential information

          d. licensing of intellectual property rights

4. Labeling and packaging

          a. label disclosure requirements, including marking of imported goods and general requirements under the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act

          b. bilingualism requirements pursuant to Charter of French Language

5. Tort Law Applicable to Sales and Marketing

          a. injurious falsehood

          b. defamation

          c. deceit

          d. conspiracy

          e. interference with contractual relations

          f. misappropriation of personality

          g. negligence (particularly regarding product liability)

6. Competition Act

          a. agreements to restrict competition

          b. multi-level marketing (ie pyramid schemes)

          c. bait and switch selling

          d. refusal to deal

          e. price maintenance

          f. tied selling

          g. abuse of dominant position

          h. misleading advertising (including comparative advertising)

7. Promotional Contests

          a. requirements for skill-testing questions

          b. prohibitions against purchase requirements    

8. Privacy

          a. rules governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information

          b. requirements to obtain consent

          c. exemptions to requirements under the federal and provincial privacy regimes

          d. telemarketing issues, including Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules and ‘do not call’ lists

          e. anti-spam legislation

9. Consumer Protection

          a. key provisions of the British Columbia Sale of Goods Act

                       i. contracts of sale of goods

                       ii. risk and passing of property

                       iii. the implied conditions and warranties of the consumer protection provisions

                       iv. special remedies under the Sale of Goods Act

                b. relevant provisions under the British Columbia Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, videos, analysis of legal issues, discussion of legal cases, case assignments, and group activities

Means of Assessment

Term Tests (2) 35-45%
Term paper 15-25%
Participation and Assignments/Quizzes       0-10%
Final Examination 25-35%

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

1. describe the structure of the Canadian legal system;

2. recognize the main aspects of the Canadian judicial system including the sources of law, the levels and roles of courts in the judicial system, and the basic elements of the court process;

3. describe the scope of the protection for freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as that right applies to marketing activities;

4. summarize the different interests and legal mechanisms relating to trade-marks and copyright law, including licensing of such intellectual property rights;

5. identify common law torts particularly relevant to sales and marketing contexts, including injurious falsehood, defamation, deceit, conspiracy, interference with contractual relations, misappropriation of personality, and negligence (particularly regarding product liability).

6. demonstrate a strong understanding of relevant criminal and reviewable matters under the Competition Act, including price discrimination, multi-level marketing, bait and switch selling, and abuse of dominant position;

7. summarize the laws applicable to promotional contests;

8. identify the basic pertinent features of the law of privacy, including exemptions available under the applicable legislative schemes;

9. recount the key elements of sale of goods legislation, including passing of property and consumer protection;

10. summarize the material aspects of the B.C. Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act; and

11. apply the legal principles that are contained in this course to real world situations and cases.

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.

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