Successful interlocutory injunctions in trade-mark proceedings before the Federal Court were once considered to be as rare as Sasquatch sightings. A substantial hurdle for moving parties requesting such relief has been demonstrating irreparable harm. However, the decision issued last week in Sleep Country Canada Inc. v Sears Canada Inc, 2017 FC 148 [Sleep Country] further signals the Federal Court’s readiness to conclude that certain harms are impossible to calculate and, therefore, qualify as irreparable.
Although notices of appeal are common place in intellectual property matters, three recent filings at the Federal Court of Appeal are, at least in this author’s opinion, noteworthy to those in the copyright and trade-mark communities.
On February 18, 2016, the Federal Court, in Specialty Software Inc. v. BEWATEC Kommunikationstechnik GmbH, 2016 FC 223 (“Specialty”), overturned a decision of the Registrar of Trademarks. In doing so, the Court may have broadened the scope of “goods” under the Trade-Marks Act (the “Act”) and called into question many software-related marks relating to services.