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13 November 2003

Public agency allowed to use trademark identical to official mark

The Federal Court has dismissed the plaintiff university's action for summary judgment in relation to its claim that the defendant, a government agency, had infringed its official mark in contravention of Section 9 of the Canadian Trademarks Act. The court held that the defendant began using the mark before the notice of the plaintiff's adoption of its official mark had been issued.

06 October 2003

Lego block's look cannot function as a trademark

In Lego Canada Inc v Ritvik Holdings Inc, the Federal Court of Appeal has followed the lead of courts in other jurisdictions, finding that Lego has no valid trademark in the look of its toy blocks because the look is a primarily functional feature of the toy.

22 September 2003

Bacardi's opposition to 'Havana Club' fails

The Federal Court of Canada has upheld the trademark registrar's decision to dismiss Bacardi's opposition to the registration of 'Havana Club' as a word mark and design. It found that as the applicant is also the owner - albeit disputedly - of the prior registered mark HAVANA CLUB, the claim of confusing similarity that was the basis of the opposition could not prevail.

15 September 2003

Canadian generic use of European wine and spirit names to end

The European Commission has approved a bilateral agreement under which Canada and the European Union will commit to protect each other's geographical indications for wines and spirits. Under the agreement, names such as Chablis, Marsala or Port will only be used in Canada to label European wines.

08 September 2003

CIPO set to favour online procedures with preferential fees

In order to promote its streamlined online procedures, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has announced that as of January 1 2004, it will offer reduced fees to those filing trademark applications and renewing registrations online.

28 July 2003

Injunction on the menu in restaurant corporate name dispute

In Quebec Inc v Quebec Inc, the Quebec Superior Court has granted a motion for a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from using the corporate names 'Restaurant L'Ancestral' and 'Restaurant La Maison L'Ancestral II' for its restaurant. The court held that both names were confusingly similar to the 'Restaurant L'Ancestral' name used by the plaintiff.

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.