Sending Cease and Desist Letters in Canada
August 11, 2020
This article, originally published in the July/August 2020 issue of IP Litigator magazine, looks at the potential risks associated with sending a cease and desist letter to an alleged infringer of intellectual property rights in Canada. Read about it here.
In a recent decision arising from an appeal of a decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board, the Federal Court commented on when a retailer can establish use of a trademark on goods when the retailer is not the “source” of the goods. Specifically, if a retailer simply affixes its own trademark to goods manufactured by a third party, does that constitute use of the retailer’s trademark in association with those goods.
Interlocutory injunctions in Canadian trademark cases are rare. The decision at first instance to grant a motion for an interlocutory injunction in a dispute related to the “Bombay Frankie” trademark therefore made headlines, at least in trademark circles, for two reasons. First, the fact that the injunction had been granted was in itself noteworthy. Second, many in the intellectual property bar were of the view that the decision misapplied certain fundamental principles of trademark law and therefore introduced uncertainty into the law.
Canada continues to make news (the wrong kind) when it comes to the slow pace of its examination of trademark applications. Despite repeated promises by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) to speed things up, the problem is only getting worse. However, there are some promising signs.