Representative Matters

CIPO Rules in Favour of The Niagara Herbalist in Trademark Dispute

On February 5, 2024, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) ruled in favour of The Niagara Herbalist Ltd. (“The Niagara Herbalist”) in trademark dispute Nova Cannabis Stores Limited Partnership v. The Niagara Herbalist Ltd., 2024 TMOB 23. The Niagara Herbalist was the first legal cannabis dispensary in Ontario. 

Nova Cannabis Stores Limited Partnership (“Nova Cannabis”) had opposed the registration of The Niagara Herbalist’s “Leaf Design” trademark (the “Leaf Logo”) on non-distinctiveness grounds, as the Leaf Logo was clearly descriptive and lacked distinctiveness.

CIPO ultimately rejected this opposition, finding that the Leaf Logo was not clearly descriptive of a hemp leaf. Nova Cannabis’ evidence was insufficient to rebut the evidence filed by The Niagara Herbalist that the logo was a fanciful design and at the heart of The Niagara Herbalist’s brand.

Aird & Berlis represented The Niagara Herbalist with a team led by Ken Clark.