Clancy PC, Intellectual Property Law, Paula Clancy, Trademarks, Canadian IP, @CanadianIP, IP
In the recent Canadian case Ontario (Energy) v Quality Program Services Inc, the Federal Court held that governmental agencies using official marks could be liable for infringement of a prior trademark owner’s rights.
Official Marks are unique to Canada. They are a type of mark that may only be owned by a Canadian public authority such as government agencies. Once public notice is given of an Official Mark, use of the Official Mark by third parties is prohibited under the Act. Official Marks cannot be opposed by third parties or cancelled for non-use. T
The Federal Court has now clarified that a public authority that uses a mark confusing with a registered trademark does so at its peril as a finding of infringement may be made. This is an interesting limitation on the broad scope of protection normally thought to apply to Official Marks.
For more information concerning Official Marks, trademark protection (and clearance searches to avoid infringement claims!) please contact us.
Clancy PC, Intellectual Property Law, Paula Clancy, Trademarks, IP