Only in Canada? Official Marks – Public Authorities must be Canadian

The Supreme Court of Canada today released its judgment dismissing with costs the U.S. Postal Services’s application for leave to appeal a decision of the Federal Court (Canada Post Corporation v. United States Postal Service).  

Canada Post had brought an application for judicial review of the decision of the Registrar of Trade-marks giving public notice of the adoption and use of 13 Official Marks by the United States Postal Service. The Federal Court held that in order for a public authority to file a Request for an Official Mark under S. 9(1)(n)(iii) of the Trade-marks Act, the public authority must be a public authority in Canada. The U.S. Postal Service had appealed the Federal Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal, which appeal was dismissed.

In light of the Federal Court’s decision, the Trade-marks Office issued a Practice Notice in 2006 stating that a public authority must be a public authority in Canada. With today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision, the policy in that Practice Notice has now been cemented.

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About the Blog

The authors of the Canadian Trademark Blog are all members of the Canadian law firm Clark Wilson LLP, based in Vancouver, Canada. Each author's practice focuses–either in whole or in substantial part–on Canadian intellectual property law. Together, they manage the trade-mark portfolios of local, national and international brand owners in nearly all industries and markets.

The Authors