Topic: Trademark

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How the Canadian Trademarks Office Considers Inherent Distinctiveness

Inherent distinctiveness is a measure of a trademark’s originality – those elements that make a brand unique and recognizable to the public. Trademarks indicate the source of goods or services for consumers. As such, distinctiveness is said to be the “essence of a protectable trademark and the foundation of trademark law”[1]. Canada Now Examines for … Continue reading

Breaking new ground(s)? McDonald’s opposes “McMortgage” citing depreciation of goodwill

For the first time ever, Canada’s Trademark Opposition Board (TMOB) has held that a ‘depreciation of goodwill’ claim can serve as a valid ground of opposition in trademark opposition proceedings. In doing so, the TMOB has arguably continued the recent trend in Canadian trademark jurisprudence of expanding the application of the depreciation of goodwill remedy … Continue reading

New common EU Guideline on genuine use of trademarks in a form differing from the one registered

On October 15, 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) has published its Common Practice No. 8 (CP8) about the ‘Use of a trade mark in a form differing from the one registered’. The CP8 provides guidelines and practical examples for users about the common standards to be applied by the EU Trademark Office … Continue reading

Burritos, Biden & Branding; Trump & Trademarks

When thinking about the 2020 United States presidential election, burritos may not be the first image that pops into your mind. But companies in industries ranging from food and beverages to clothing apparel are using brand power to encourage people to vote in this year’s United States presidential election. This blog, while about the use … Continue reading

Chipping Away at Official Marks

Last week, the Supreme Court refused leave to appeal in Ontario (Energy) v. Quality Program Services Inc., 2020 FCA 53, putting to rest the idea that an official mark operates as an absolute defence to trademark infringement. The Federal Court of Appeal, which now stands, upheld a Federal Court decision that Ontario’s use of its … Continue reading

Federal Court of Appeal Reviews Meaning of “Use” of a Trademark in Canada

In Miller Thomson LLP v Hilton Worldwide Holding LLP, 2020 FCA 134, the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal recently confirmed that a trademark associated with “hotel services” was valid despite no brick-and-mortar presence in Canada.  More specifically, the Court acknowledged that providing incidental or ancillary services to the registered service can be considered to be … Continue reading

Bacardi Must ‘Gin and Beer It’ In Failed Trade Mark Opposition Proceeding

The decision of Bacardi & Company Limited v Dickinson Distribution Group Pty Ltd [2020] ATMO 117 (1 July 2020) confirms the acceptance of the similarity between goods in classes 32 and 33, and in particular accepts that gin is similar to beer. Hence, it is vitally important for owners of marks registered in classes 32 … Continue reading

The Quebec Superior Court declines to issue a Norwich order to identify the supplier of grey market perfumes

In a recent judgment, the Quebec Superior Court denied a request for an order against a wholesaler/retailer to identify the suppliers of branded products obtained via parallel importation and sold in Quebec without the brand owner’s authorization. The brand owner sought the information in order to sue the products’ suppliers. Coty Inc., a manufacturer of … Continue reading

Grey Goods and False Labels: Federal Court Grants Interlocutory Injunction in a Trademark Case

In a recent trademark passing off case, TFI Foods Ltd. et al. v. Every Green International Inc., 2020 FC 808, the Canadian Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction prohibiting the defendant from selling grey goods in Canada.  Specifically, the defendant was enjoined from using labels falsely identifying it as the exclusive manufacturer of certain imported … Continue reading

Manufacturing in China? Chinese courts confirm the benefits of seeking local registered protection

Putting aside some recent COVID-related bumps in the road, China remains the world’s largest manufacturer. A large portion of its manufacturing consists of original equipment manufacturing (OEM) under contract. OEM involves manufacturing goods intended for export only, and not for sale domestically in China. This business model has solidified China as a critical manufacturing hub … Continue reading

Goodwill Hunting: Herbs R Us depreciates the goodwill of Toys R Us

Trademark owners often face challenges when attempting to enforce against non-confusing third party trademark use, for example, where someone has adopted a “parody” mark, where the mark may be similar trademark, or have the same ‘look and feel’, but in a completely different consumer space such that consumer confusion is unlikely. But where such mark … Continue reading

July Update – Response from Canadian Courts to COVID-19

Canadian jurisdictions continue to relax social distancing measures and take steps towards resuming operations while maintaining safe practices. This post provides an update on the status of the courts across Canada. We will continue to provide updates as matters progress. Please feel free to reach out to our litigation team with any questions you may … Continue reading

A Generic Word Combined With “.Com” Can Create A Protectable Trademark

In United States Patent And Trademark Office, Et Al., v. Booking.Com B. V. (No. 19-46, Jun. 30, 2020), the Supreme Court held that the combination of a generic term with “.com”—referred to as a “generic.com term”–could be a protectable trademark. Booking.com, an enterprise that maintains a travel-reservation website by the same name, sought federal registration … Continue reading

Implementation of the Madrid Protocol in Hong Kong

On 19 June 2020 Hong Kong gazetted the Trade Marks (Amendment) Ordinance, paving the way for the application of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol) in Hong Kong.  This follows on from the outcome of a public consultation conducted back in 2014. Currently, there are 106 … Continue reading

A smooth [not crunchy] win in Bega’s favour  

The facts of the 2019 Federal Court decision in Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC v Bega Cheese Limited were far from simple.  The case centred around a battle between Kraft and Bega, involving considerations of ownership and divestment of rights in trade dress and goodwill and internal and external trade mark licensing structures. Ultimately, the … Continue reading

USPTO Expedited Initial Examination for COVID-19-Related Trademark Applications

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a new program, effective June 16, 2020, to help expedite the initial examination of U.S. trademark applications for marks relating to qualifying COVID-19 medical goods or services. The USPTO typically examines trademark applications in the order they are filed, with most applicants receiving … Continue reading

Canada’s Trademark Overhaul – 1 year out

On June 17, 2019, Canada’s trademark regime went through the most significant changes in over 50 years.  Where have we landed, a year after the new provisions came into force? One thing seems certain: Canada’s Trademark Examiners are loving the new “non-distinctive” objection.   It has become the objection du jour, and sometimes appears to be … Continue reading

Google Goes Organic to Fight Counterfeiters

In the midst of the global pandemic, Google has provided some welcome news in the ongoing fight against counterfeiters. Google recently updated its legal complaint system to allow trademark owners to report webpages that sell or promote the sale of counterfeit goods, and has committed to removing the webpages from the search engine’s organic (non-advertisement) … Continue reading

Insights from the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2020

Intellectual Property (IP) Australia published their 2020 edition of the Australian IP Report (the IP Report) on 24 April 2020. The IP Report, which can be accessed here, provides a current overview of the IP sector in Australia and the latest data on the IP rights (IPR) administered by IP Australia. Reports such as the … Continue reading

Singapore leads the way on promoting its IP Hub

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) made headlines recently when its Chief Executive, Daren Tang, was appointed as the next Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation with effect from 1 October 2020 (see this link for more information). As Chief Executive of IPOS since November 2015, Daren has earned accolades for several initiatives … Continue reading
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