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A well-loved Canadian pastry company got entangled in a PR crisis this week over accusations of perceived trademark enforcement overreach. While the marketing team gave a canny response on social media which appears to have quelled most of the outcry, evidence suggests that the negative impact could have a lasting effect on the brand. It is another reminder of the risks of trademark enforcement and how practitioners must tread carefully in the age of social media.
In 2015, international brands successfully challenged plans to compel the positioning of French descriptions alongside trademarks when used in Quebec. This week, it emerged that the government intends to ask stores to use French signage on their facades. While the move does not go as far as previous plans, opposition figures are calling for the government to revisit and strengthen plans to compel companies to adopt French descriptions.
The proposed changes to Canada’s Trademarks Act have proven controversial since they were announced back in March this year, and the final reading of Bill C-31 could reach the House Of Commons as early as next week. However, a number of practitioners are keen to outline the positives.
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