Last week we reported on a decision of the Federal Court, Trial Division. The Federal Court of Appeal has also handed down a recent section 45 decision referring to the section as the “‘use it or lose it’ provision for removing ‘deadwood’ from the Register”.
In Bereskin & Parr v. Fairweather Ltd. the Court refused the appeal on the basis that the trial judge’s application of the law to the undisputed facts disclosed neither a palpable and overriding error on a question of mixed fact and law, nor a readily extricable error on a question of legal principle.
The trial judge had allowed the appeal from the Registrar of Trade-marks decision to expunge the trademark TARGET APPAREL for use in association with “men’s clothing, namely, suits, pants, jackets and coats”. The trademark had been acquired by Fairweather Ltd. from another company. In front of the Registrar, Fairweather had failed to produce evidence demonstrating a serious intention to use the mark. Such evidence can constitute special circumstances and excuse the absence of actual use in the preceding 3 years. However, when Fairweather appealed under section 56 of the Trade-marks Act, it filed new evidence (which is allowed on a section 45 appeal) and provided the judge with preliminary design and artwork showing an ongoing intention to use the mark. There was also evidence of sales after the date of the section 45 notice that gave credibility to the evidence of an intention to use. Thus, use was established.