The Brion Raffoul team looks forward to welcoming clients at our new offices, located at 329 Churchill Ave, Ottawa, when the practice moves to its newly renovated building in February, 2020.
Over the holidays, Brion Raffoul will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2019. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is also closed these same days. Any patent, trademark or industrial design deadlines falling on December 25 and 26, 2019 are extended to December 27, 2019.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year!
Big news in the world of luxury goods: earlier this week, French multinational LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA) acquired renowned jeweler Tiffany’s for $16.2bn. According to Reuters, one of the biggest draws for the luxury conglomerate was the breadth and value of Tiffany’s IP. The famous Tiffany packaging, boxes of trademarked “Tiffany Blue” tied with white satin ribbon, might be more pricey than any jewels. “We’re [now] the owner of a colour”, said Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH. “It’s a pretty rare thing.”
Brion Raffoul will be closed on October 14, 2019 for Canadian Thanksgiving. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is also closed, so any patent or industrial design deadlines falling on October 12 to 14, 2019 are extended to October 15, 2019.
A fantasy novel set in Toronto is the centre of a trademark controversy. The cover of James Bow’s new book, The Night Girl, features shadowy fantastical figures running along a rooftop with the iconic CN Tower on their left. The image of the CN Tower was obtained from a stock photo site under a Creative Commons license.
But, to the surprise of Bow and the book’s publishers, the CN Tower’s owner is alleging that the cover violates their trademark. According to representatives of Canada Lands Company Ltd. (CLCL), the Crown corporation that manages the CN Tower, every image of the CN Tower is protected as a trademark. They are asking that the cover be redesigned for subsequent print runs, but Bow and his publishers are pushing back.
A lawyer for Bow is asking CLCL to drop the matter. Ren Bucholz points out that ‘confusion’ is the basic yardstick for trademark infringement, and that The Night Girl is a fantasy novel “featuring a strong female protagonist who helps trolls and goblins succeed in the human world through her work at an employment agency”, rather than a guidebook or map. It is unlikely, according to Bucholz, that anyone would see this cover and think that CLCL believes the CN Tower to be overrun with trolls.
The matter is still ongoing, but one thing is clear: stock
photo licenses might not always tell the full story.