Just before the holidays last year, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision in Red Label Vacations Inc v 411 Travel Buys Limited 2015 FCA 290. It affirmed the lower court decision of Justice Manson which had held that, on the facts of the case, the use of metatags on web pages did not constitute passing-off, trade-mark infringement or depreciation of goodwill. It did so primarily based on findings of fact by the trial judge which the court found were not subject to any palpable and overriding error.
Archive for the ‘Trade Marks’ category
Search engines make billions of dollars each year selling keywords to businesses to advertise their products and services online. Businesses often bid for keywords that are trade-marks or trade-names of their competitors. Understandably this has generated considerable litigation around the world against search engines such as Google and their customers, much of it unsuccessful.
The recent Canadian case, Vancouver Community College v. Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc., 2015 BCSC 1470 affirmed that the owner of a trade-mark cannot succeed in a passing off action against a person who buys and uses the trade-mark of a competitor as a keyword unless, the person can prove that that use causes or is likely to cause confusion. The court made these types of cases difficult to pursue by also holding that the potential for confusion cannot arise before a searcher reaches the advertiser’s website.
I am pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of my IP casebook Intellectual Property Law in Canada: Cases and Commentary.
Written in collaboration with my partners Steven Mason and Dan Glover, this book will be of particular interest to private practitioners, in-house lawyers, law students, law professors and librarians. It includes selections from important cases in intellectual property law including very recent cases from the Supreme Court of Canada and other appellant courts to provide the most up to date and instructive set of materials on IP law in Canada. We use it in the IP course we jointly teach at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
In a case that could have major ramifications for trade-marks law in Canada, Justice Hughes of the Federal Court has concluded that, when a trade-mark appears on a computer screen website in Canada, regardless where the information may have originated from or be stored, constitutes for Trade-Marks Act purposes, use and advertising in Canada.
This strong conclusion comes from Homeaway.com, Inc. v. Martin Hrdlicka, 2012 FC 1467, a decision released December 12, 2012. In this case, the Applicant sought to expunge a trade-mark registered in 2010 by the Respondent Hrdlicka. On the Application, the Respondent represented himself.
A Masterpiece for Brand Owners – The Supreme Court of Canada makes it easier to enforce your trade-markMay 26th, 2011
By Brian Edmonds, Beth Macdonald and Dan Glover*
On May 26, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Masterpiece Inc. v. Alavida Lifestyles Inc., 2011 SCC 27. The Court reversed decisions by the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and painted a rosier picture for those who seek to protect trade-mark rights in Canada.
Masterpiece started using the trade-mark MASTERPIECE THE ART OF LIVING in Alberta in 2001. It used the mark in association with retirement residences. On December 1, 2005 Alavida filed an application to register the trade-mark MASTERPIECE LIVING for use, in brief, with retirement residences. In the application Alavida indicated that it proposed to commence use of the mark in Canada in the future. In 2006 it did in fact commenced using the mark in Ontario.
The RCMP just published a report surveying the problems posed by counterfeiting and piracy in Canada. Some of the important findings of the report A National Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment, 2005 to 2008 are the following:
- Traditionally viewed as being victimless, Intellectual Property (IP) crime has become a source of health and safety concern in Canada. Health, safety, and economic damages from the consumption and usage of counterfeit goods are being reported on an international scale. Victims of IP crime include, among others, people suffering from life threatening diseases who unknowingly use counterfeit medicines containing little or too many active ingredients, or toxins.
Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2009-2010). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring.
The slides include a summary of the following cases and statutory references:
Tercon Contractors Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2010 SCC 4
Internet Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. v Mar LLC  EWHC 844 (Ch)
Gammasonics Institute for Medical Research Pty Ltd v Comrad Medical Sysytems Pty Ltd  NSWSC 267 (9 April 2010)
Kingsway Hall Hotel Ltd. v Red Sky IT (Hounslow) Ltd.  EWHC 965