On April 27, 2015, the Quebec Court of Appeal rendered its
highly anticipated decision in the language of outdoor signage
controversy that has been occupying many retailers in the province.
The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the Attorney General of
Quebec's appeal and confirmed the Québec Superior
Court's April 9, 2014 decision to the effect that the plaintiff
retailers can rely on the "recognized" trademark
exception and are not required to add French descriptors to
non-French trademarks featured on storefront signage.
By way of background, last April 9, 2014, the Québec
Superior Court had granted a declaratory judgment in favour of
eight of Québec's leading retailers. The retailers
had petitioned the Court to clarify whether their use of a
non-French trademark on storefront signage violated the Charter
of the French Language or its Regulation respecting the
language of commerce and business. The Quebec Attorney General
subsequently filed an appeal requesting that the Quebec Court of
Appeal reverse the judgment, and declare that the use of a
trademark on outdoor signage constituted the use of a business
name, requiring French descriptors. This week, the Quebec Court of
Appeal dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgment of the
Quebec Superior Court.
The official written judgment will follow.
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