Product Care Association v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 FC 284

Product Care Association had applied to register a proposed trade​mark for LIGHTRECYCLE & DESIGN. The examiner found this was “clearly descriptive” of the services it would be associated with, namely, a recycling programme for lights and dissemination of information in the field of recycling lighting products. The proposed mark was rejected.

On appeal to the Federal Court, new evidence was led that identifies some of Product Care’s members, dictionary definitions of LIGHT, and Google searches, but this was not found to have affected the decision made by the Registrar. Thus the appeal was assessed on the reasonableness standard.

The Federal Court found the Registrar’s analysis to be unreasonable, but still found that the proposed mark could not be registered for being clearly descriptive. The Court found that “light” can also refer to the weight of an object, and so it was found to be unreasonable to conclude that the word portion of the trademark proposes use in recycling light bulbs. However, considering the mark as a whole, including the lightbulb design element, the Court found the mark clearly descriptive and not registrable.