Trademarks mean something different up there, I guess

Can a building be a trademark? Can a photo of a building be a trademark? Can a drawing based on a photo of a building be a trademark? I’d be inclined to answer no, no, maybe.

Well, when the Supreme Court of your local country says it is, the answer is yes, it seems. One more reason to be glad we’re Americans (not “North Americans”), I guess. As the offending blogger,, put it, “one takedown message from the Supreme Court of Canada is… interesting; two would be unfortunate.” Yes, it would be — in more ways than two!

Hat tip to Library Boy.


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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

3 Responses to “Trademarks mean something different up there, I guess”

  1. January 29, 2007 at 5:05 pm #

    Glad to see you picked up this piece. Can I ask only that you change the URL in your comment to instead of .com?  (This was picked up by another reader — thanks.  Can you imagine a more typical Yankee mistake? — RDC)


  1. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » Brain freeze - October 28, 2007

    […] First we reported about how the Canadian Supreme Court has asserted trademark rights in the shape of its (rather undistinctive!) courthouse. Now March Randazza reports this gem from the National Post: The City of Toronto launched an ad campaign “One Cent Now” to increase support in Ottawa for a measure to set aside more tax funds for Ottowan cities. The ad campaign depicts the obverse (tails) of a Canadian penny. The Royal Canadian Mint sent a bill for $47,000 in licensing fees, claiming that the design of the penny and the term “One Cent” are the mint’s registered trademarks. […]

  2. A Penny For Your Trademark « The Legal Satyricon - October 28, 2007

    […] Update, Ron Coleman had an earlier story on another strange Canadian trademark issue – apparently back in January, the Canadian Supreme Court asserted trademark rights against a blogger who posted a drawing of the Canadian Supreme Court building. (original story here). […]