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Lawyers Without Borders’ Trade-Mark Confirmed

Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) is pleased to announce that the US-based organisation Lawyers Without Borders, Inc. (LWB USA) has filed on March 4, 2013, a notice of discontinuance of its appeal of a decision rendered by the Federal Court of Canada on November 29, 2012 granting LWBC’s application to strike the “Lawyers Without Borders” trade-mark registered in Canada by LWB USA.

In its reasons dated January 14, 2013, the honorable Justice François Lemieux stated the following: “In my view the evidence submitted by [LWBC] is overwhelming and clearly establishes that its use of the mark across Canada points to its association with [LWBC] and not to [LWB USA] whose evidence of use of the mark in Canada is extremely poor. In short, the reputation [LWBC] acquired in the mark through usage was significant and substantive.”

LWBC had offered to resolve the case out of court, but to no avail. The Federal Court decision now definitely confirms that LWB USA’s registration of the “Lawyers Without Borders” mark is invalid and that LWBC was the organization entitled to register such mark in Canada because of its use thereof.

“We want to thank Joanne Chriqui, Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay and the team at the law firm of Norton Rose. They brilliantly represent LWBC on a pro bono basis, their work in this case is exceptional”, said maître Pascal Paradis, LWBC’s Executive Director. “We also wish to thank Véronique Wattiez-Larose, Daniel G.C. Glover and the team at the law firm of McCarthy Tétrault who also excellently represent LWBC on a pro bono basis in its trade-mark matters. Their commitment is outstanding.”

“LWBC is an organization whose work is centered on supporting grass-roots justice initiatives abroad, protecting human rights, fighting impunity and delivering tangible results for the most vulnerable”, added maître Paradis. “We have been quite active here and abroad in the past 10 years. The trade-mark registered by LWB USA was creating confusion. With all due respect for their work in the US, we are happy the situation has been clarified in Canada for good”, concluded maître Paradis.
 

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