• Appeal of Federal Court's Decision Upholding Board's Finding of Confusion Dismissed
  • September 13, 2017 | Authors: Chantal Saunders; Adrian J. Howard
  • Law Firm: Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Ottawa Office
  • U-haul International Inc. v. U Box It Inc., 2017 FCA 170

    The Court of Appeal dismissed U-Haul's appeal of the Federal Court's decision, which upheld the Opposition Board's decision allowing the opposition of U-Haul's two trademark applications of U-BOX and U-BOX WE-HAUL. The Board determined that U-Haul had failed to show that its two trademarks were not confusing with U Box It Inc.'s trademark, U BOX IT. On appeal, the Federal Court refused to conduct a de novo review as the new evidence would not have made a material difference in the Board's findings of fact or exercise of discretion. The Federal Court also concluded that the Board's finding of confusion was reasonable (see 2015 FC 1345, our summary here)

    In the present appeal, U-Haul submitted that the Federal Court erred by not conducting a de novo analysis and upholding the Board's conclusion of confusion. The Court of Appeal found that the new evidence merely supplemented or confirmed the findings of the Board. The Court of Appeal also concluded that the Board's finding of confusion was reasonable, and that it was not appropriate to conduct a re-weighing exercise in this case.