The Federal Court dismissed an appeal of a decision of the Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) allowing an opposition to the registration of a trademark for the word "Żubrówka" in association with a flavoured vodka product. The TMOB had applied section 12(1)(c) of the Trade-Marks Act and found that the Applicant had failed to meet its burden of proof on a balance of probabilities that "Żubrówka" was not the name of the wares in the Polish language. In other words, the TMOB was not satisfied that "Żubrówka" was not a generic Polish word describing vodka flavoured with bison (or buffalo) grass.
The Court concluded that the complete evidentiary record provided ample support for the TMOB's finding that the Applicant's evidence was insufficient to meet its burden. The Court also noted that on this appeal, the Applicant added very little to the evidentiary record in support of its case and certainly not enough to require the Court to reconsider the TMOB's decision on the merits.