Douglas Stewart, an Indigenous teacher from Moncton, has requested that clothing retailer Urban Planet pull items using the word SAVAGE.
Urban Planet was selling orange t-shirts with the word SAVAGE printed on the front. Keep in mind that Orange Shirt Day is held in honor of Indigenous children who were displaced from their families and sent to Canadian residential schools. Although the word "savage" is often used as a synonym for "fierce," Stewart noted that the term connotes the subjugation of Indigenous peoples during the colonization of North America. Accordingly, the use of the word SAVAGE on orange shirts was particularly poignant.
Although the orange shirt appears to have been removed from Urban Planet’s website, we found other items displaying the word "savage".
It is important to thoroughly consider alternate, and potentially disparaging, meaning of words when marketing goods and services. This is where we can help – our trademark searches can help you determine whether your brand choices will be problematic and/or offensive. For more information on trademark searches and other available services, contact us.
As one author discovered, Toronto's most famous landmark, the CN Tower, is registered as a trademark. Author James Bow received a cease and desist letter from Canada Lands Company Ltd. (CLCL), which manages the CN Tower as a Crown corporation, requesting that he remove an image of the landmark from the cover of his urban fantasy novel "The Night Girl".
Apparently, Bow and his lawyers fired off a response that there was little risk of confusion between his use of the CN Tower on the cover of the book which is set in Toronto, and CLCL’s monetizing of real estate assets. Bow further argued that the Crown corporation is not active in the business of “publishing novels, let alone fantasy novels featuring a strong female protagonist who helps trolls and goblins succeed in the human world through her work at an employment agency.” The Twittersphere seems to be siding with Bow as there have been numerous Tweets in support of the author.
Trademark law never ceases to give rise to interesting plot twists. We will continue to monitor this story for further developments.
On October 2, 2019, the Madrid Protocol went into effect in Brazil. Like Canada, Brazil's trademark laws have been undergoing big changes. These include the following:
To learn more about the Madrid Protocol, contact us.
Paula Clancy was invited to attend the ELLE Gala last night as a woman mentor. This event recognizes the work of women entrepreneurs who are fighting to break the glass ceiling. ELLE stands for Excellence in Leadership, Legacy in Entrepreneurship. The evening included a mentor hour, which allowed students to connect with professionals and entrepreneurs, like Ms. Clancy. The Right Honorable Michaelle Jean (27th Governor General of Canada) was the keynote speaker.
Clancy PC is pleased to announce that Paula Clancy has been re-elected to serve on Council for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC). This week, Ms. Clancy attended the 93rd IPIC Annual Conference in Gatineau, where the theme was “IP Beyond Borders: Canada’s Coming of Age in a Global Economy”.
The fourth edition of the IP Canada Report has been published on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s (CIPO) website. The annual report covers statistics in trends in IP in Canada and around the world, and covers some key points:
For more information on how trademarks can help your business grow, contact us.
Paula Clancy was one of the Canadian delegates voting for AIPPI’s Standing Committee on Client Attorney Privilege resolution at the AIPPI World Congress in London, England. Jo Johnson, brother of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for the Congress. He noted that the UK is facing considerable turbulence in the face of Brexit but remained confident that the UK would prevail as a key centre for innovation.
We're pleased to announce that Paula Clancy will be a member of the panel session "Genuine Use of Trademarks" at the AIPPI World Congress in London on September 17.
For more information and to register for the panel, visit here.
It turns out that “Taco Tuesday” is a trademark owned by a fast food chain from Wyoming, Taco John's. The mark, filed on March 23, 1989 and registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) under registration number 1,572,589, covers “restaurant services” in international class 42. The only exception in the country-wide registration is the state of New Jersey, where the same mark owned by a different restaurant preceded it.
This registration has caused an online stir after Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co., located five blocks from the taco chain’s national headquarters, received a cease and desist letter. The warning was for a sign advertising an unaffiliated food truck that parks outside of the establishment weekly.
The Wyoming brewing company posted on their Facebook July 31, the day after receiving the letter, “Just to clear things up, we have nothing against Taco John's, but do find it comical that some person in their corporate office would choose to send a cease and desist to a brewery that doesn’t sell or profit from the sales of tacos.”
While the company says the term is part of the company’s “DNA,” others argue that the slogan is no longer distinctive of Taco John's due to its widespread usage. "Taco Tuesday" has its own Wikipedia entry mentioning its widespread usage in restaurants, LeBron James is in headlines celebrating it, not to mention references from pop culture such as the Simpsons.
In other words, the Taco Tuesday mark may have suffered "genericide". For more information on "genericide" and how to avoid it, please visit INTA's guide here.