Sadhu Singh Hamdard Trust v. Navsun Holdings Ltd., 2014 FC 1139

The Plaintiff brought a motion requesting that the matter proceed by way of summary judgment or summary trial, which was agreed to by the Defendants. Accordingly, the Court ordered the matter to proceed as a summary trial based on the material that had been filed by the parties in relation to the motion.

The Plaintiff publishes a daily newspaper in India called the Ajit Daily, and the Bains Defendants publish a weekly newspaper in Canada called the Ajit Weekly. The Plaintiff alleged passing off pursuant to section 7(b) and 7(c) of theTrademarks Act, and claimed against the Defendant Master Web for being the printer. There was also a copyright infringement issue, in respect of which the Court was required to determine whether a partial settlement agreement in the United States was dispositive.

The Court noted that it was not provided with any expert evidence relating to the interpretation of the U.S. settlement agreement but ultimately found that the agreement permitted the use of the masthead as currently used by the Bains Defendants. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the copyright claim against the Bains Defendants.

The Court found that the Plaintiff did not succeed in demonstrating that goodwill exists in Canada in respect of the trademark. The Court also concluded that the Ajit Weekly would not be confused with the Ajit Daily, and the Plaintiff had not demonstrated that damage had been caused by the Ajit Weekly. The Court also dismissed the Plaintiff’s claim against the printer, Master Webb, and dismissed the counterclaim by the Bains Defendants as to false and misleading statements made about the Ajit Weekly.