The Supreme Court of Canada will issue its decision this Thursday (May 26, 2011) in Masterpiece Inc. v. Alavida Lifestyles Inc.

The issues on appeal generally applicable to trade-mark confusion cases are:

1. Is there a reasonable likelihood of confusion between two trade-marks if the marks are not already in competition in the same geographic area at the material date?

2. Can the manner in which each mark is used (i.e. the “get-up”) overcome a reasonable likelihood of confusion between the marks?

A summary of the case is available on the SCC’s website at http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/case-dossier/cms-sgd/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=33459. A summary of the SCC’s decision and its impact on Canadian trade-mark law will be posted on this blog after the decision is released.

Trade-mark decisions from the SCC are rare. The last trade-mark rulings from the SCC were issued in 2006 in the famous marks cases  Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin v. Boutiques Cliquot lte and Mattel, Inc. v. 3894207 Canada Inc. regarding the VEUVE CLICQUOT and BARBIE trade-marks, respectively.

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