Impact of the decision involving the Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart (et al.) trade-marks

October 1, 2015
Legislative changes to come affecting trade-marks registered in a language other than French
Changes are to be expected for those who own trade-marks which are in a language other than French and carry business in Quebec. Further to a decision from the Quebec Court of Appeal, which we discussed in an article in our Spring 2015 newsletter, the Quebec government announced in a press conference in June that modifications to the Regulation Respecting the Language of Commerce and Business adopted under the Charter of the French Language are to come. Although the bill should only be introduced during autumn 2015, last June’s press conference reassured trade-mark owners by announcing that there would be no requirement to translate trade-marks; the bill would instead introduce a requirement to add a French component to the trade-mark which is in a language other than French. Based on the announcement, such French component could take the form of a description of the products or services, of a slogan, or, if preferred, of an added generic term, without altering the original trade-mark. As parliamentary sessions resumed on September 21, 2015, rest assured that we are monitoring all developments that may affect the public display of your trade-marks, and we will continue to provide updates in the Robic newsletter or on our website www.robic.ca.