Dogwood Initiative, a British Columbia environmental group, is facing legal action from the Royal Canadian Mint over a campaign to add one million oily loon decals to loonies in circulation. (For our international readers, “loonie” is the commonly used term used to refer to the Canadian one dollar coin.) Dogwood’s campaign is intended to create awareness about the risks of oil tanker traffic on BC’s north central coast, in the hopes that legislation might be passed banning such traffic.
The Royal Canadian Mint has alleged Dogwood Initiative’s activities bring it offside the Currency Act, but query whether the Mint may also have an action under the Canadian Trade-marks Act (the "Act"), for infringement of the Mint’s Official Mark rights in the loonie.
Section 9 of the Act deals with Official Marks, and in particular, it prohibits the adoption in connection with a business, as a trade-mark or otherwise, of any mark which consists of, or so nearly resembles as to be mistaken for, an Official Mark. Read more