Nickled and Dimed: The Dispute Over Intellectual Property Rights in the Bluenose II
(2004) 27 Dalhousie L.J. 293-320
43 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2004
The Bluenose Schooner forms part of the folk history of Nova Scotia, and is a Canadian icon. Popular assumptions that its name and image formed part of the public domain were put to the test in 2003 when the Bluenose II Preservation Trust Society brought suit against a Halifax business for infringement of its official marks, trademarks and copyrights relating to the ship and its name. The litigation garnered local and national media attention, and the provincial government soon became involved in the dispute.
In this article, the author provides some background to the dispute before moving on to consider the merits of the trademark and copyright claims. Because the infringement suit was eventually dropped as part of an agreement between the Trust and the Province of Nova Scotia, the legal issues raised by this case remain unresolved. The author argues that the intellectual property claims of the Trust were largely without merit. She is critical of the official marks regime under the Trade-marks Act, and discusses the boundaries between intellectual property and the public domain.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Copyright, Official Marks, Public Domain
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