Archives for May2012

Integrity of the RFP process

Be careful when contacting your competitors in the context of preparing an RFP response.   “Bid-rigging”, or collusion by several competitors to artificially inflate the quote provided in response to an RFP, is a criminal offence.   Refer to the Competition Bureau Canada website for further information and a flash presentation related to this topic.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_02760.html

The effect to a consulting firm of a finding (or even allegation) of bid-rigging is that of severe damage to the goodwill of that firm to it’s current and future clients.

In a recently reported case TPG Technology Consulting Ltd. v Canada (2012, Ont CA), the appellant, an IT consulting firm, brought forward arguments on the damage to it’s goodwill that resulted from the allegation of bid-rigging.   The trial of this matter was ongoing at the time of this post and no findings have been determined as of yet.

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at your own risk. The law may have changed since the publication of this article. The writer is licensed to practise law in Ontario and not in any other jurisdiction.  This article is also published on ClauseHound.

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Choosing your business name or brand name

Be careful when choosing your business name or brand name that you don’t infringe on the goodwill of other brands.

In this case Glamour Magazine opposed an application for the brand Hysteric Glamour. The court considered whether there would be confusion of the applicant’s wares sold under the mark HYSTERICAL GLAMOUR as being provided by or endorsed by the opponent, Glamour Magazine. The court held that GLAMOUR is a commonplace descriptive term and the first component of the applied for mark, that is, the term HYSTERICAL, serves to distinguish the applied for mark from the opponent’s mark, relying on the principle that when marks are inherently weak, comparatively small differences will suffice to distinguish one mark from another. Glamour Magazine was also unable to demonstrate continued use or reputation acquired for it’s use of Glamour associated with “Hysteric”.

It is important to note that the trade-mark search methodology was provided during the course of this opposition.

The trade-mark agent conducted a search of the trade-marks register for marks “containing the element GLAMOUR for use in association with clothing, cosmetics and related items and accessories” and also “in respect of beauty and fashion related services.” The searched revealed 79 marks including, for example, the registered marks GLAMOUR SHOTS ( for cosmetic makeovers); GLAMOUR HOUSE (for bedsheets); GLAMOUR SECRETS (for cosmetic supplies); GLAMOUR (for ladies hosiery); GLAMOUR SHEERS (for hosiery); GLAMOUR GIRLS (for children’s wear); and GLITZ AND GLAMOUR (for sunglassesand  gloves).   Also identified were items, consisting mostly of clothing, for sale on the website ebay.ca.

This case provides an example in which the brand name was successfully defended, but also highlights the importance of research before launching, and distinctiveness of your business or brand name.

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at your own risk. The law may have changed since the publication of this article. The writer is licensed to practise law in Ontario and not in any other jurisdiction.

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