Avocats sans Frontièrs Québec v. Lawyers Without Borders, Inc.

In this case, the Applicant, Avocats sans Frontièrs Québec (ASFQ),applied to expunge the trade-mark “Lawyers Without Borders” from the Registrar of Trade-marks. The Court granted the Order.  

The Court held that ASFQ had proven that at the time of registration, the Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB) trade-mark was invalid on two grounds: 1) at the time the trade-mark expungement application was launched, the LWOB trade-mark was distinctive of the activities of ASFQ rather than the activities of LWOB, Inc.; and 2), that ASFQ was the person entitled to secure the registration of the LWOB trade-mark in Canada.  

The Court considered the evidence of the parties and held that the evidence submitted by ASFQ is overwhelming and clearly establishes that its use of the LWOB mark across Canada points to the mark’s association with ASFQ and not LWOB, Inc. Furthermore, the Court held that LWOB, Inc.’s evidence was extremely poor in this regard. Furthermore, ASFQ was the first person to use the mark in 2002. Thus, the Court granted the application and expunged the LWOB mark from the Registry.