Federal Court

Contempt of Court

Contemnors fined $50,000 for continuing to use trade-mark

Judge ruled that respondent infringed applicant’s trademark HIGH TIMES, contrary to ss. 19 and 20 of Trademarks Act. Judge determined that respondent directed public attention to its goods, services or business in way that caused or was likely to cause confusion between its goods, services or business and those of applicant, contrary to s. 7(b) of Act. Judge permanently enjoined respondent from selling, distributing or advertising goods or services in association with applicant’s registered trademark or trademark likely to be confused with that of applicant. Respondent continued to use trademark and name HIGH TIMES. Respondent pleaded guilty to five counts of contempt. This was to determine penalty. Acts of contempt were objectively and subjectively serious. Respondent’s behaviour challenged judicial authority of court and public’s confidence in administration of justice. Aggravating factors included seriousness of acts of contempt and unexplained delay in compliance. Mitigating factors included this being first offence, guilty plea and fact that respondent’s business was relatively small and unsophisticated. Respondent had not accepted responsibility or apologized. Applicant was diligent in efforts to rectify contemptuous conduct, which warranted award of solicitor-client costs. Applicant was awarded solicitor-client costs of $62,500, payable jointly and severally by respondent and officer and director. Given history of trademark infringement and primary consideration of general deterrence, it was appropriate to order respondent and officer and director were to pay fine of $50,000 on joint and several basis.

Trans-High Corp. v. Hightimes Smokeshop and Gifts Inc. (Jul. 27, 2015, F.C., Simon Fothergill J., File No. T-1004-13) 258 A.C.W.S. (3d) 57.

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