Under section 45 of the Trade-marks Act, an applicant, upon receipt of the Registrar’s notice, must provide an affidavit or statutory declaration evidencing use within the previous three years or an acceptable excuse for non-use. In Vêtement Multi-Wear Inc. v. Riches, McKenzie & Herbert LLP, the Applicant failed to provide its attorney with all the information and documents necessary to respond to the section 45 notice and the evidence was not filed in time. Pursuant to section 56, the applicant appealed the Registrar’s determination to expunge the mark, and as allowed under section 56, filed its evidence.
The Court noted that where new evidence (or in this case, the only evidence) is filed on a section 56 appeal, the Federal Court decision is de novo. The Court also noted that the test for “use” under section 45 is not onerous. Thus, the appeal was allowed and the applicant’s trademark, L’AMADEI for use in association with ladies’ clothing, namely skirts, dresses and blouses (but not vests and sweaters) was allowed to remain on the register. The Affidavit evidenced 6 sales to Canadian companies and 10 sales to one American company. The invoices did not use the trademark, but the affidavit explained that the hang tags on the items referenced in the invoices would have used the trademark.