Tag Archives: canada

Bill 96: Major Changes Affecting Trademarks on Packaging and Signage in Canada

Close-up on a blue Open sign in a window with written in it in English & French.

Most companies doing business in Canada prefer to use the same branding across all Provinces and Territories, particularly for consumer product labelling and signage of consumer-facing businesses. This means that Quebec’s language law often defines how brands are presented across Canada. With new legislation adopted on May 25, 2022 (Bill 96), the Charter of the French Language is now much less favourable to trademark owners.

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Trademark Year in Review: Notable Trademark Decisions in 2021

(French version available at bottom of article)

The past year has brought forward several important decisions in Canada trademark law. From depreciation of goodwill claims, objections founded on bad faith and lack of distinctiveness, several cases have highlighted certain challenges that trademark owners may face in enforcing their rights.

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Lavigne (Valmedia) v. 9061-6632 Québec inc.: Infringement of moral rights will not go unpunished

court house

(French version available at bottom of article)

True to its continental European heritage, Canada has a strong regime for the protection of moral rights. This includes the inalienable right of creators to be associated with their work as its author and to protect its integrity, notwithstanding any assignment of economic rights. These rights have been recognized in Canada under the Copyright Act (the “Act”) since 1931 and have been repeatedly recognized in past decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada1.

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The Federal Court of Appeal Upholds Finding that Trademark Use Can Be Established Without a Physical Presence in Canada.

With the rise of e-commerce, many non-Canadian businesses can now advertise their services to Canadians online without having any physical presence in Canada. If these businesses have Canadian registered trademarks associated with these services, there are however important considerations for businesses wanting to properly maintain their trademarks in Canada. Unlike other forms of intellectual property, an owner of a Canadian trademark must “use” their registered mark in Canadian commerce or it may lose the protections provided by the Trademarks Act. It goes without saying that without a physical presence in Canada, it could be challenging for foreign trademark owners to prove that they are meeting the “use” requirement. The WALDORF ASTORIA case provides helpful guidance for foreign trademark owners to mitigate the risk of compromising their intellectual property.  

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