Alliance Laundry Systems LLC v. Whirlpool Canada LP, 2015 FCA 232

Alliance has successfully appealed a decision of the Federal Court (2014 FC 1224 and summarized here) that upheld a decision of the Registrar of Trademarks (2013 TMOB 218) which confirmed the registration of Whirlpool's trademark SPEED QUEEN.

The majority of the Court of Appeal held that Whirlpool's evidence of use does not meet the low threshold of evidence required to show use of the trademark at issue in association with Whirlpool's goods. Thus, the appeal was allowed and the trademark SPEED QUEEN was expunged.

The dissent noted that the burden to prove use is not a heavy burden, and thus was not persuaded that the Federal Court judge made a palpable and overriding error in her assessment of the evidence or that she erred in law in concluding that the decision of the Registrar of Trademarks upholding the registration of the respondent's trademarks at issue “SPEED QUEEN” in association with laundry washing machines and laundry dryers was reasonable.