Coors Brewing Company v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, 2014 FC 318

The Applicants, Coors Brewing Company and Molson Canada 2005, sought the expungement of the Canadian trade-mark “Grab Some Buds” registered by the Respondent, Anheuser- Busch, LLC. The International Trade-mark Association (“INTA”) sought leave to intervene. That motion was dismissed, and this is the appeal therefrom. The question for the Federal Court was thus whether the decision by the Prothonotary was based upon a wrong principle or upon a misapprehension of facts.

The Prothonotary considered a number of factors in determining whether or not a third party intervention should be permitted. His major point was that INTA had failed to demonstrate that its proposed intervention would add to the debate, a factor that the Court agreed with. The Court held that it would certainly be able to hear and decide the case on its merits without the proposed intervention. The Court also noted that the interests of justice would not be better served by allowing an intervention given the late stage of the proceeding (i.e. two weeks before the hearing date). Therefore, the Court dismissed the appeal, and awarded costs to the Applicants. While the Court acknowledged that costs were following the event, it was also done in part because the appeal was made presentable in Vancouver while counsel for the Applicants (and Respondent, who did not appear in any event) reside in Ottawa.