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Blog index

Updated: 4 days ago

In this blog we deal with recent developments concerning trademarks, copyright and other laws that have a direct impact on branding and marketing. I have written numerous case comments concerning the leading decisions as well as other short articles.

A brief index of the material follows:



When is a Trademark “Clearly Descriptive”?

Place of Origin

Acquisition of Rights Acquisition of Rights under the Trademarks Act An Introduction to Protecting Brand Names under the Trademarks Act A Questionable Choice of a Mark Hashtags Usernames Do Not Be Overly Optimistic or Aggressive When Attempting to Obtain a Trademark Registration

Trademark Use Is the Use of Multiple Trademarks on the Same Good Acceptable? Deviating Trademark Use Trademark Use – Services Trademark Use – Goods More Rules for Trademark Use Trademarks Use Use it or Lose it Online Use in an App Avoiding Genericism



The Effect of Prior Use on Registered Trademark


Territorial Extension under the Madrid Protocol to Canada

Madrid Protocol Applications

Examination of Trademark Applications

What’s Included in a Trademark Application - Part II A Palpable and Overriding Error Must be Shown to Successfully Appeal From an Examiners Refusal What’s Included in a Trademark Application Trademark Owners Must Consider What is Taking Place in the Marketplace! Why Register Your Brand Name? Applications Claiming Colour as a Trademark An Introduction to Protecting Brand Names under the Trademarks Act Sound Marks Must Be Distinctive To Be Registered


Effect of Registration

Registration of a Trademark

The Trials and Tribulations of Weak Trademarks

Assignment and Licenses

DIEGO MARADONA and An Ineffective Trademark Assignment

Non-Compliance with the Trademarks Act Leads to an Unfavourable Result


Checks and Balances in the Section 45 Regime

A Fight to the Finish Non-Compliance with the Trademarks Act Leads to an Unfavourable Result A Clear Case for Expungement


The Opponent’s Onus

The Importance of the Evidence in A Trademark Opposition! More Rules for Trademark Use

What is a Palpable and Overriding Error? How to Deal with a Suspect Ground of Opposition? Decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board Confirmed on Appeal What is the Standard of Review for Appeals from the Trademarks Opposition Board? Be Careful When Presenting Evidence In A Trademark Opposition! The Latest Word on Bad Faith How to Prove Bad Faith


A Polo Club in a Crowded Market

The Same Old Song

No More Worldwide Trademarks

Trademark Infringement and Freedom of Expression

The Importance of the Use of Colour in a Trademark When Not to Seek a Summary Trial! When are Directors and Officers Liable for Infringement? Confusion and Chinese Characters Consider Summary Judgement or Trial in the Federal Court Protecting the Lindt Bunny Concurrent Jurisdiction for Patent Infringement Actions Counterfeiters Beware! Taking Unfair Advantage of the RED BULL Trademark Targeting & the part it plays in establishing jurisdiction in cases involving the use of trademarks What is Indirect Confusion? ​​A Difficult Product Launch Jurisdiction and Trademark Infringement on the Internet Comparative Advertising and Section 22 of the Trademarks Act Word Games Be Careful When Presenting Evidence In A Trademark Opposition! Targeting and the Long Arm of the U.K. Courts Internet Survey Ruled Inadmissible


Key Trademark Decisions in 2022 Key Trademark Decisions in 2021

Passing Off

The Impact of a Previous Decision of the TMOB in an Action for Statutory Passing Off What is a Statutory Claim for Passing Off?

Domain Names and the Internet

Key Trademark Decisions in 2022 Social Media Influencers Take Down Policies and Social Media Sites Dealing with Unauthorized or Negative Publicity in Social Media Hashtags Usernames Key Trademark Decisions in 2021 What Should Brands Consider When Using Social Media? Linking and Framing Search Engine Rankings Keywords In Online Advertising What is a Metatag? Can Claims Be Asserted For Their Misuse? Pop-Up Advertisements and Mouse Trapping TikTok Sued Concerning Inappropriate Use of a Voice Protecting Your Business Against Criticisms and Gripe Sites In A Digital World (Part II)


What is Authorizing Copyright Infringement?

Copyright decisions fall 2023

Protecting the Bitcoin File Format

Recent Copyright Developments - summer 2023

Recent Copyright Decisions Notable Copyright Decisions in 2022 Recent Copyright Decisions - Summer 2022 Fair Dealing for the Purpose of News Reporting Notable Copyright Decisions in 2021 An Ineffective Self-help Remedy Quarterly Copyright Blog - Q4 Search Engine Rankings Quarterly Copyright Blog - Q3

Industrial Design

When is an Industrial Design Infringed?

Misleading Advertising

What is Greenwashing? Social Media Influencers

If you have questions, please contact me at

John McKeown

Goldman Sloan Nash & Haber LLP

480 University Avenue, Suite 1600

Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V2

Direct Line: (416) 597-3371

Fax: (416) 597-3370

This index and the articles referred to are of a general nature and not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer.

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