On November 18, 2019, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Court) released its decision in Corus Radio Inc v Harvard Broadcasting Inc, 2019 ABQB 880, granting Corus Radio Inc and Corus Entertainment Inc (collectively, Corus) an interlocutory injunction prohibiting Harvard Broadcasting Inc (Harvard) from using the word “POWER” with respect to its radio broadcasting business.

From 1991 to 2003, Corus operated POWER 92, a radio station on Edmonton’s 92.5 FM frequency. Corus’ POWER 92 station has since rebranded to CHUCK 92.5. Corus had acquired a number a trademarks in association with its POWER 92 brand. However, in 2015, Corus’ POWER 92 trademark was expunged for failure to renew.

In 2010, Harvard acquired HOT 107, a radio station operating on Edmonton’s 107.1 FM frequency and, in 2019 Harvard rebranded its radio station to POWER 107. Corus subsequently sought, and was granted, an interlocutory injunction restraining Harvard from, amongst other things, using the POWER 107 mark in association with its radio business. Corus argued that in rebranding its station to POWER 107, Harvard wrongfully traded on the reputation and goodwill of the POWER radio brand that Corus built in the Edmonton market.

In granting the injunction, the Court considered and weighed a number of factors, including the fact that Harvard:

  • anticipated that radio listeners from the 1990s and 2000s would remember Corus’ POWER 92 station.
  • designed the POWER 107 logo fully aware of the appearance of Corus’ POWER 92 Logo; and
  • investigated the trademark registry and conducted a risk assessment of using the POWER name.

Even though Corus had not operated a radio station as POWER 92 in Edmonton for more than a decade, the Court found that Corus would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction was not granted.

Summary By: Alessia Monastero


19 12 11

Disclaimer: This Newsletter is intended to provide readers with general information on legal developments in the areas of e-commerce, information technology and intellectual property. It is not intended to be a complete statement of the law, nor is it intended to provide legal advice. No person should act or rely upon the information contained in this newsletter without seeking legal advice.

E-TIPS is a registered trade-mark of Deeth Williams Wall LLP.