Time Development Group Inc. v. Times Group Corporation, 2017 FCA 125
The appellant Time Development Group Inc. was unsuccessful in its bid to overturn a prior decision finding its tradename, TIME DEVELOPMENT GROUP had infringed a registered trademark TIMES GROUP CORPORATION (2016 FC 1075, our summary here). The appellants had been enjoined from using its tradenames or any confusingly similar variants.
The Court of Appeal first considered whether the registered mark had been used by anyone other than the owner, such that it was not distinctive. The Federal Court had made a factual finding that the mark was not used by anyone other than the registered owner, and this finding was not overturned on appeal. A second argument regarding the coexistence and use of similar tradenames and trademarks was also unsuccessful in showing a lack of distinctiveness.
As to confusion, the Court of Appeal was also not swayed that a palpable and overriding error was made. The Federal Court found that there is a very strong resemblance between the registered trademark TIMES GROUP CORPORATION and the tradename TIME DEVELOPMENT GROUP. This included the fact that the mark and name are used in similar businesses and in the same vicinity. Namely, all of the parties are involved in real estate development and management, and their businesses are focused on the Chinese Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Federal Court further noted a striking resemblance when the names are written in Chinese, because the singular and plural of TIME are the same.
After holding that there were no errors made with respect to the confusion analysis, the appeal was dismissed with costs.