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.