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COVID Considerations – Effective Brand Management during a Pandemic

Stephanie Chong | May 12, 2020

COVID Considerations – Effective Brand Management during a Pandemic

Trademarks are a key part of brand management. In view of uncertainties caused by COVID-19, effective brand management involves care and stewardship of a business’ trademarks to at least maintain, and hopefully increase, brand value through positive customer engagement.

In a previous blog post, we wrote about how a stoppage in business activities may affect the validity and enforceability of a trademark. We included some practical tips on steps that could be taken to avoid such a loss of rights.

Other COVID considerations which may factor into management of your brand are discussed below.

Extraordinary Circumstances Part II – What happens to a trademark when COVID-19 prevents a trademark owner from using the trademark in the normal course of business?

Stephanie Chong | April 20, 2020

Non-use of a trademark can be fatal to the validity and enforceability of a trademark. Thus, if a trademark owner cannot use its trademark, it may no longer be possible for the trademark owner to enforce its trademark rights against others, thus allowing competitors to engage in trademark infringement (or passing off) with impunity.

Such a scenario is of concern in the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is preventing many businesses from selling their goods or providing their services.

Extraordinary Circumstances Part I – The Impact of Covid-19 on Canadian Trademarks

Stephanie Chong | April 8, 2020

Unprecedented. Unparallelled. Unheard-of. All of these adjectives, and more, have been used to describe the current situation the world is facing in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Another apt word is “extraordinary”. The concept of “extraordinary circumstances” has been relied upon in appropriate circumstances in the legal world to justify the seeking of extensions of time of various deadlines.

Trademarks practice is inherently deadline-oriented. Deadlines apply to many aspects of the filing and application process, the opposition process (whereby a third party can formally object to a trademark application becoming registered) and the court process (often used by trademark owners to enforce their rights). Deadlines also apply to proceedings in which trademark owners are asked to provide proof that their trademarks have been used in Canada in order to maintain their validity.

In the constantly-shifting landscape caused by the pandemic, the following protocols have been developed with respect to extensions of time and other relevant aspects of Canadian trademarks practice. Note that these protocols are constantly evolving, and the relevant websites should be checked frequently for the most current information.

Hoffer Adler LLP’s Legal Insight Series

COVID-19 Legal Considerations for Franchisees and Franchisors

Idan Erez | April 2, 2020

The emergence and widespread prevalence of the COVID-19/coronavirus epidemic has created unprecedented challenges for both franchisees and franchisor.

Thoughts on Lady Justice for International Women's Day 2020

Stephanie Chong | March 6, 2020

As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8th, an interesting thought occurred to me: Why is Justice a woman?

The image of a woman wearing a blindfold and holding a set of scales is familiar in legal symbolism. Often referred to as Lady Justice, she can be seen in front of courthouses as an imposing statue, or embossed on a medallion or other background image.

But why is the embodiment of the concept of justice a woman?

Litigation Update: New Increases Coming to the Monetary Limits of Ontario Courts

Idan Erez | November 5, 2019

In Ontario, legal claims seeking the recovery of money may be pursued in different courts, and pursuant to different procedures, depending on how much money is being claimed. Smaller claims must be pursued in Small Claims Court. Larger claims up to a certain limit must be pursued to a “simplified procedure” within the Superior Court. Claims beyond that limit, or claims in which something other than a strictly monetary award, must be pursued to the ordinary procedure within the Superior Court. 

Attention Foreign Trademark Counsel (and Applicants): Appoint a Canadian Trademark Agent for Madrid Applications to Prevent Loss of Rights

Stephanie Chong | October 31, 2019

As reported in an earlier blog post, Canada implemented the Madrid Protocol on June 17, 2019. The Madrid Protocol is a system which permits entities located in member countries to obtain “international” trademark registrations.

The Volunteer Lawyer and Election Campaigns

Stephanie Chong | October 28, 2019

Election 43 is now behind us. While many Canadians were closely following the ups and downs of the 40-day campaign right up until the ballot results on October 21st, others were even more deeply entrenched.

Crashing the People’s Party – IP Claims Meet their Demise

Stephanie Chong | September 30, 2019

We first reported here on the case involving Satinder Singh Dhillon and his claims to intellectual property rights in the name “People’s Party of Canada”.

With Canada’s 43rd general election in full swing, we thought it would be an opportune time to provide some updates on the matter.

What Constitutes Adequate Notice of Rescission by a Franchisee?

Idan Erez | August 15, 2019

Under Ontario’s franchise legislation, the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) (the “Wishart Act”), a franchisee is entitled to “rescind”, or unwind, its franchise agreement if the franchisor failed to provide adequate disclosure to the franchisee before the execution of the franchise agreement.