Protected Poppies

In Edmonton, the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is concerned about the sale of white poppies with the word “peace” in the middle. The red poppy has come to symbolize Remembrance Day, when Canadians honour their war dead.

The Legion has had its poppy design registered as a trade-mark since 1948. The poppy design is also protected by federal legislation (s. 15 of the the Royal Canadian Legion Act, S.C. 1948, c. 84, as amended by S.C. 1980-81-82-83, c. 179) which provides that the poppy design as depicted is a mark of the “dominion command” and a registered trade-mark under the Trade-marks Act.

Anti-war activists are offering white poppies with the word “Peace” for sale in Edmonton, claiming that such poppies have been sold as a peace symbol since 1933. The Legion is alleging infringement of its trade-mark rights and arguing that the sale of such poppies politicizes the Legion’s symbol of sacrifice.

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2 Responses

  1. Darryl R. Toews says:

    I’ve been looking for updates on the poppy trademark issue. Has there been any developments since it hit the news last November 06?

  2. Angela Jochem says:

    Please rethink the use of the word ‘claiming’. The white poppy DID make its first appearance on Armistice Day, 1933, as the symbol of the Women’s Co-operative Guild. The intention of the Guild’s members was to spark public debate on the effectiveness of violence as a solution to political or personal differences. The British Legion used and continues to use the red poppy, as does the Canadian Legion.

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