A Federal Court determined that a registered trademark, TIMES GROUP CORPORATION, had been infringed by a confusing tradename, TIME DEVELOPMENT GROUP, per The Honourable Mr. Justice O’Reilly, 2016 FC 1075.

Time Development Group Inc. appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.


Time Development Group Inc. v. Times Group Corporation:

  • Plaintiff registered its corporate name as a trademark, Times Group Corporation
  • The Federal Court framed the main issue as one of confusion: Was confusion likely between the registered trademark, TIMES GROUP CORPORATION, and the tradename, TIME DEVELOPMENT GROUP?
  • [13] With respect to TDG’s second argument, TDG points to Times’ trade-mark application in which Times asserted that it began using its mark in 2011. TDG began using its trade-name in 2008. TDG says that its prior use of an allegedly confusing trade-name should have disentitled Times from registering its mark. This is incorrect. It is the use of a trade-mark that confers on the owner the rights to that mark, including the exclusive right to use that mark and to register it. (Masterpiece Inc v Alavida Lifestyles Inc, 2011 SCC 27 at para 35-36; Trade-marks Act, s 16). The evidence set out below shows that Times has used its trade-names and mark at least since 2006: this is both before TDG began using its trade-name and well before Times’ registration of its mark in 2014. Therefore, in my view, Times clearly had the right to register its mark and to acquire the exclusive right to use it; the real question is whether TDG should be prevented from using its trade-names on grounds of confusion.
  • In 2016 FC 1075, the Federal Court declared that the registered trademark had been infringed and ordered that the appellants refrain from using “its trade-names and any confusingly similar variants.”
  • Decision upheld on appeal 2017 FCA 125 (Justice Dawson; Justice de Montigny; Justice Woods)

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By David Michaels

David Michaels, J.D., B.Eng., CHRM is a trained attorney who holds certificates in Canadian Trademark Law (2012) and Canadian Patent Law (1996) from McGill University. He has worked in the area of trademark law in Canada since 1995 and in the USA since 1993. David is a legal blogger, brand consultant, an eCommerce entrepreneur, and an aeronautical engineer. http://ca.linkedin.com/in/davidtmichaels/ Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on trademarkpro.ca do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the author's notes of the current state of trademark law and should not be attributed as opinions of the author, his employer, clients or the sponsors of trademarkpro.ca. The author does not warrant that these notes are up-to-date. Trademark law is constantly changing and it varies between jurisdictions and even within jurisdictions. This website should not be relied upon.