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Word of the Week - Research

Word of the Week - Research


Supreme Court of Canada

Limiting research to creative purposes would also run counter to the ordinary meaning of “research”, which can include many activities that do not demand the establishment of new facts or conclusions. It can be piecemeal, informal, exploratory, or confirmatory. It can in fact be undertaken for no purpose except personal interest. It is true that research can be for the purpose of reaching new conclusions, but this should be seen as only one, not the primary component of the definitional framework.

Public Performance of Musical Works, Re |  (WestlawNext Canada)

2012 CarswellNat 2381 at para. 22 |  (Westlaw Canada)

Abella J. 

The fair dealing exception under s. 29 [of the Copyright Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42] is open to those who can show that their dealings with a copyrighted work were for the purpose of research or private study. “Research” must be given a large and liberal interpretation in order to ensure that users' rights are not unduly constrained ... research is not limited to non-commercial or private contexts. The Court of Appeal correctly noted, at para. 128, that “... research for the purpose of advising clients, giving opinions, arguing cases, preparing briefs and factums is nonetheless research”. Lawyers carrying on the business of law for profit are conducting research within the meaning of s. 29 of the Copyright Act.

CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada |  (WestlawNext Canada)

2004 CarswellNat 447 at para. 51 |  (Westlaw Canada)

McLachlin C.J.C. 


 ... the word “research” as used in section 41 of the Canadian Patent Act [R.S.C. 1952, c. 203] should be interpreted as research on an international scale.

Frank W. Horner Ltd. v. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. |  (WestlawNext Canada)

1970 CarswellNat 2 at para. 11 |  (Westlaw Canada)

Laidlaw (Commissioner of Patents)

British Columbia

[In order to render a “special nursing audit report” privileged and inadmissible as evidence in a coroner's inquest, under sections 42 and 57 of the Evidence Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 68, it had to be shown that the report was prepared by a “research group” which had “the conduct of a course of study or research conducted for the purpose of reducing morbidity or mortality”.]

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (1973), defines “research” as (p. 1804): 

1. The act of searching (closely or carefully) for or after a specified thing or person. 2. An investigation directed to the discovery of some fact by careful study of a subject; a course of critical or scientific inquiry

. . . . .

The nature of the work carried out by the nursing special audit report is related to the specific inquiry into the quality of nursing care given the deceased during a definite period of time. It was not set up for the purpose of searching into the ways of reducing morbidity or mortality. It was not set up to study those matters. Rather, it was set up in the nature of an inquiry to ascertain the quality of nursing care given to the deceased. The subcommittee's mandate is one of investigation and inquiry as opposed to a scientific or experimental study. Its role is to gather facts. It is not set up to conduct a course of study or research. The report might in the future become part of a certain study relating to the reduction of morbidity or mortality. If so, the statements given to the research group carrying out that study and the conclusions or records resulting from the studies would be privileged communications. The statements and information gathered by the nursing special audit subcommittee, however, were not gathered by such a research group and are, therefore, not privileged.

British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Messier |  (WestlawNext Canada)

1984 CarswellBC 106 at para. 16 |  (Westlaw Canada)

17 MacKinnon J.
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