Plaintiff’s approach of instituting two actions raised possibility of contradictory judgments

Federal court | Civil Procedure

PLEADINGS

Plaintiff’s approach of instituting two actions raised possibility of contradictory judgments

Plaintiff manufactured ice cider named “Domaine Pinnacle”. Defendants distributed flavoured vodkas called “Pinnacle”. Plaintiff filed motion to institute proceedings in Quebec Superior Court, seeking to obtain permanent, interlocutory and interim injunction against defendant B. Inc. to prevent commercialization of vodkas and other Pinnacle products in Quebec market. Plaintiff also instituted proceedings in Federal Court against defendants alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement. Defendants counterclaimed for declaration that their mark did not infringe plaintiff’s trademark. Defendants indicated their intention to request stay of proceedings in Quebec Superior Court, on basis that there was bifurcation of proceedings in Federal Court as far as Quebec was concerned and of lis pendens and forum non conveniens. Plaintiff filed unsuccessful motion to amend statement of claim to explicitly exclude Quebec from scope of Federal Court action. Prothonotary found that amendment did not seek to determine real questions in controversy between parties and did not seek to serve interests of justice. Plaintiff appealed. Appeal dismissed. Plaintiff’s approach of instituting two actions in two separate jurisdictions concurrently raised not only issue of multiplicity of proceedings but also real possibility of contradictory judgments. Court was not satisfied that impugned order was clearly wrong and that exercise of discretion by prothonotary was based upon wrong principle or misapprehension of facts.
Domaines Pinnacle Inc. v. Beam Inc. (Jul. 30, 2013, F.C., Richard Boivin J., File No. T-290-13) 234 A.C.W.S. (3d) 605.

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