Certified General Accountants Assoc. of Ontario v. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2013 ONSC 7111

CGA sought an application for an injunction pursuant to subsection 30(1) of the Certified General Accountants Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c. 6, Schedule A (“CGA Act ”). The Respondents were alleged to be using the acronym CGMA, which stands for Chartered Global Management Accountant, as an accounting designation in the province of Ontario. The application was dismissed as the Applicant did not show on a balance of probabilities that the Respondents were contravening theCGA Act.

Section 26 of the CGA Act provides that no individual or corporation shall use the designation CGA or C.G.A. alone or in combination with other words or abbreviations. CGA Ontario argued that CGA alone  or in combination with other words or abbreviations, such as CGMA, would fall within the scope of the prohibition. The Court disagreed, finding that it was the specific permutation of letters and punctuation that was protected, as opposed to each individual letter. The M element breaks up the CGA element by being inserted into the middle, and while the Court considered that “MCGA” or “CGAM” would be prohibited, CGMA is not.