Section 45 of the Trade-marks Act allows the Registrar, at the written request of any person, to give notice to the registered owner of a trademark requiring the registered owner to furnish, within three months, an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration showing that the trademark has been used in association with each of the wares and services specified in the registration during the preceding three-year period.

In 88766 Canada Inc. v. Monte Carlo Restaurant Limited Justice Pinard of the Federal Court allowed an appeal from the decision of the Registrar of Trade-marks and expunged the mark. The mark at issue was MONTE CARLO that was registered for use in association with the wares “pizza and spaghetti” and the services “operation of a restaurant, food take-out and catering, operation of a bar and operation of a banquet hall”. On the basis of the Affidavit evidence furnished by the owner of the mark, the Registrar struck out only “operation of a bar and operation of a banquet hall”.

The Court first noted, given there was no new evidence filed on the Appeal (an option where there is an appeal from a section 45 mark), that the standard on the Appeal was one of reasonableness. The Court then reviewed the Affidavit furnished by the registered owner and concluded that it did not clearly establish use during the relevant period. Thus, the mark was struck from the registry.

It was not sufficient to simply establish that advertising materials had been distributed in the previous five years.  The Court noted that there was nothing specifically stated regarding distribution during the preceding three-year period and noted that it was up to the owner of the mark to provide clear proof regarding use. The Court also referred to BMW Canada Inc. v. Nissan Canada Inc., a case that we previously commented on, for the proposition that the appearance of a trademark in an advertisement does not constitute use in association with wares unless the advertisement is distributed at the time of the transfer of the property in or the possession of the wares.

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