As part of an ongoing dispute between Fairmont Resort Properties Inc (FRP) and Fairmont Hotels Inc and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Inc (collectively, FH), FRP brought an application under section 12 of the Canada Business Corporations Act
(CBCA) asking the Director of Corporations Canada (CBCA Director) to order FH to change their corporate names because of the risk of confusion with FRP's name.
FH moved to have the application stayed pending the outcome of ongoing trade-mark disputes between the parties, one in Federal Court and two before the Trade-marks Opposition Board. The CBCA Director refused to stay the application, whereupon FH sought judicial review of that decision before the Federal Court of Canada.
In a judgment handed down recently, Justice O'Reilly of the Federal Court characterized the CBCA Director's initial decision to hear the application as interlocutory, and therefore not a final decision. The Court stated that until the CBCA Director made such a decision, the Court would not interfere, absent special circumstances that the Court determined were not present here. In terms of trade-mark law and practice, the Court noted that any decision by the CBCA Director regarding a corporate name cannot settle the pending trade-mark disputes.
Inevitably, when corporate names contain trade names, parties such as FH and FRP are in the unenviable position of having to prosecute and defend multiple proceedings which can relate to substantially similar issues.
For the full text of the decision, see Fairmont Hotels Inc v Director Corporations Canada and Fairmont Resort Properties Ltd, 2007 FC 95, (January 29, 2007) at:
Summary by: James Kosa
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