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24 July 2003

Opposition to NUTRAVITA mark fails

In Alticor Inc v Nutravite Pharmaceuticals Inc, the Federal Court of Canada has affirmed a Trademark Opposition Board decision to allow the registration of the term 'Nutravita' as a trademark. The court concluded that the marks NUTRAVITA and NUTRILITE would not be confusingly similar when used in association with vitamins, minerals and herbs.

07 July 2003

Roller Derby iced by Federal Court

In Bauer Nike Hockey Inc v Roller Derby Skate Corporation, the Federal Court of Canada has granted the plaintiff summary judgment to enforce a trademark infringement settlement the company had reached with the two defendants, Tour Hockey and Roller Derby, essentially holding that a deal is a deal.

02 June 2003

No stopping use of BOSTON MARKET before trial

In Boston Pizza International Inc v Boston Market Corporation, the Federal Court of Canada has refused to grant an interlocutory injunction against the defendant so as to prevent its pre-trial use of the mark BOSTON MARKET in association with restaurant services and the sale of prepared foods.

28 May 2003

American Sporting Goods gets the boot

In American Sporting Goods Corporation v Sears Canada Inc, the Federal Court of Canada has upheld the registrar of trademarks' decision to refuse the plaintiff's application to register the term 'Nevados' as a trademark for footwear. Sears Canada thereby successfully protected its mark NEVADA for the same goods.

19 May 2003

Toys "R" Us loses twice to NUTS trademark applicant

In two decisions in opposition proceedings issued on the same day, the Federal Court of Canada has ruled for the defendant in Toys "R" Us (Canada) Ltd v Manjel Inc, finding that the registration and use of the trademark NUTS 'R' US does not infringe the TOYS "R" US mark.

16 May 2003

Labatt wins 12-year Oland Export dispute

In Labatt Brewing Company Limited v Molson Canada, the Federal Court Trial Division has found the term 'Oland Export', for use in association with beer, to be registrable on the basis of acquired distinctiveness. The case, which lasted for more than a decade, is the latest in a series of disputes between these two parties regarding trademarks for beer.

25 April 2003

Pill refused combination colour-shape mark

In Astrazeneca AB v Novopharm Ltd, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that "a yellow colour applied to the whole of the visible surface of a round tablet" containing a blood pressure medication is not sufficiently distinctive to be registrable as a trademark because there are numerous other round, yellow tablets sold in Canada for the same ailment.

11 April 2003

BOSTON CHICKEN plucked from registry

The Federal Court of Appeal has overruled a decision to maintain the registration of the trademark BOSTON CHICKEN, finding that it lacks distinctiveness. In reaching this conclusion, the court expressly rejected foreign use of a mark as being the basis to acquire distinctiveness in Canada.

02 April 2003

Definition of 'use' expanded to cover market testing

In ConAgra Foods Inc v Fetherstonaugh & Co, the Federal Court has reversed the trademark registrar's decision to cancel for non-use ConAgra's KID CUISINE mark. The court ruled that ConAgra's transfer of marked sample goods to be used for market testing constituted 'use' for the purposes of the Canadian Trademarks Act.

11 March 2003

DIPLOMAT fight not over yet

In Kelendji v Diplomat Fullhalter Gesellschaft Kurz & Rauchle GmbH, the Federal Court of Appeal has overruled a decision to maintain the registration of the mark DIPLOMAT because the trial judge did not consider all the grounds for cancellation set out in the Trademarks Act. Accordingly, the case has been remanded to the Trial Division for further consideration.

05 February 2003

Public notice of NETFILE official mark valid, rules court

The Federal Court of Canada has refused to review the trademark registrar's decision to give public notice of the government's use of an official mark. The court held that the registrar cannot refuse to give public notice if, as here, all the criteria set out in Section 9 of the Canadian Trademarks Act are met.

21 January 2003

Canada considers protecting European GIs for wines and spirits

Negotiations between Canada and the European Union may result in a bilateral agreement whereby Canada would remove 22 wine names and two spirit names from the lists of products referred to as 'generic' under the Canadian Trademarks Act. This would mean that the names could be registered - and therefore protected - as geographical indications in Canada.

10 December 2002

Public authority status needed for official marks

The Canadian Trademarks Office is now requiring that applicants for official trademarks provide evidence of public authority status. The test for public authority status has two prongs: (i) the applicant must be under a significant degree of government control, and (ii) the activities of the applicant must be for public benefit.

14 November 2002

Trademark registration is complete defence against passing-off action

In the case of Molson Canada v Oland Breweries, the Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed Molson's passing-off action, ruling that Oland's use of its registered trademark OLAND EXPORT constitutes a complete defence against such an action.