A recent posting noted how difficult it is to obtain interlocutory injunctions in Canadian trade-mark actions. However, a judge of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench recently concluded that the Plaintiffs in Marlborough Hotel Corporation et al. v. First Canadian Hotels & Entertainment Ltd. et al. were entitled to an interlocutory injuction. The Plaintiffs had since 1959 marketed and advertised a large ballroom at their hotel facilities as the “Skyview Ballroom”. On May 1, 2007, the Defendant, a hotel located one block away, started using the name “Radisson Winnipeg Skyview”.
The judge applied the three-part test in R.J.R. MacDonald Inc. v. Attorney General (Canada) noting also that, according to Apotex Fermentation Inc. v. Novopharm Ltd, a 1994 decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal, the three factors are not individual hurdles for an applicant to overcome, but are to be viewed as interrelated.
The judge concluded that there was a serious issue to be tried. Although the Defendants raised numerous arguments regarding the Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success, these were matters for the trial judge to assess.
The judge also found that there would be irreparable harm, noting that there would very likely be confusion, given that the two businesses were one block apart. The judge was also satisfied that it would be difficult for the Plaintiffs to quantify or prove the extent of any damages, both financially and to their goodwill, should the Defendants be allowed to use “Skyview”. Finally, the judge was satisfied that the balance of convenience favoured the Plaintiffs, given that the Plaintiffs were a long-established business and that the Defendants had only started to use the word “Skyview” in May of 2007.