An update to the post below: the Supreme Court of Canada announced this morning that the Scotch Whiskey Association has been unsuccessful in obtaining leave to appeal before the Court. A panel of three judges dismissed the Association’s leave request, with costs.
Following up on a story we reported earlier this year, Mississaugua, Ontario-based Psion Teklogix appears to have resolved its trademark dispute with Intel Corporation by undertaking to withdraw all of its NETBOOK trademark registrations. As regular readers of our blog will recall, Psion’s registrations for NETBOOK were being challenged in a number of jurisdictions, including Canada, by Intel and others on the bases of non-use and non-distinctiveness.
While the Psion press release makes no specific reference to the terms of settlement, it seems likely that Intel persuaded Psion to formally abandon the NETBOOK brand by providing a cash payment to the Canadian company. It is not clear to what extent, if any, Dell Inc. – who had joined Intel in attacking Psion’s registrations – was a formal part of any such settlement.
The news of the settlement is not particularly surprising: Psion had a long and expensive row to hoe defending the various actions in the jurisdictions in which it was under attack, let alone asserting its rights around the world to stave off allegations of non-distinctiveness / genericide. Moreover, Intel and Dell no doubt both had more resources to apply to the case than Psion did. Given all of that, the cost-benefit analysis pushes one to settlement pretty quickly. Read more
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has engaged in a number of client consultations recently. Considering changes to Section 45 practice, changes to practice before the Opposition Board – even changes to the method by which it publishes practice notices – CIPO has been soliciting client and stakeholder views. (On the Opposition point, CIPO’s changes to practice before the Board came into effect on March 31, 2009.)
CIPO is now engaged in a new consultation – this one concerning three separate issues. The first concerns deadlines for responding to Examiner reports. CIPO is proposing to extend the deadline for responding to such reports from four to six months.
The second concerns deadlines for responding to CIPO’s requests for outstanding information concerning transfers. Here, CIPO is proposing doing away with such deadlines altogether, though of course the transfer will not be effected it CIPO’s records until all required materials have been provided. Read more
Brouilette Kosie Prince v. Great Harvesting Franchising, Inc. involved two Appeals under section 56 of the Trade-marks Act from decisions of the Opposition Board. The Appellant had sought, unsuccessfully, to have the Registrar expunge two trademarks pursuant to section 45 of the Act, namely two design trademarks, both for GREAT HARVEST BREAD CO. & DESIGN. The one was registered for use in association with the services of “operation and franchising of retail bakery shops”. The second was registered for the same services, as well as services described as “franchising services, namely offering technical assistance in the establishment and/or operation of retail bakeries and retail bakery shop services” and wares described as “bakery goods, namely bread, cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls; wheat; jams and jellies; clothing, namely hats, sweatshirts, aprons, t-shirts and sweaters”.
The Federal Court agreed with the Opposition Board that the one mark registered solely in respect of the services could be maintained in its entirety and the other could be maintained in part.
In the course of the section 45 proceeding, the owner of the trademark had provided a Statutory Declaration that included two photographs (the first showing bread baskets sitting on a portable table in a mall, with a banner pinned to the table and the second showing the banner with the trademark in full), a page from a booklet regarding how to become a franchisee, and four labels, together with invoices of sales for one particular day in the three-year period preceding the Section 45 Notice. No further evidence was provided by the owner of the trademark on the Appeal. Read more
While not, strictly speaking, a Canadian trade-mark issue, many Canadian trade-mark owners will be interested in this limited time opportunity to save money while obtaining protection for their marks in the European Union.
The official fees for European Union Community Trade-mark (“CTM”) applications are being reduced by about 40% (from EU 1,600 to EU 900).
In addition, applicants who apply before May 1, 2009 can save an extra EU 150, because while the final registration fee (EU 850) has already been eliminated, the minimal increase in filing fees (from EU 750 to EU 900) does not take effect until May 1, 2009.
We encourage trade-mark owners considering CTM applications to act quickly to take advantage of the extra savings available before May 1, 2009.
The dispute over Psion’s NETBOOK trademark registrations has crept further into the mainstream, following recent decisions by Dell and Intel to take legal action against Psion in the US.
For those of you who missed it, Psion is a mobile computing device manufacturer whose head office is located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Psion holds registrations for the trade-mark NETBOOK in Canada, the US, in Singapore, Hong Kong and in the CTM system.
In December, Psion sent letters to manufacturers and retailers in an attempt to “affirm” its NETBOOK trademarks. To this end, the letters requested the recipients to stop using NETBOOK to describe ultra-portable laptop computers. Psion followed up with similar correspondence to journalists and bloggers in January. Read more
Following up on an earlier blog posting, we note that the Supreme Court of Canada has refused leave to appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in Shell Canada Limited v. P.T. Sari Incofood Corporation.
The Court of Appeal earlier concluded that JAVACAFÉ when sounded as two words was clearly descriptive, in French, of the claimed wares, namely, coffee products.