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US Postal Service Denied Exclusive Use of Common Terms

Thu, 15 Dec 2005 10:22:00 EST

A Federal Court has denied the USPS's request to trademark common terms such as "priority mail," "signature confirmation," "first-class mail" as well as the USPS eagle design logo, in Canada.

"The recent ruling means that Canada Post can continue to use the term and a dozen others ... Justice Anne Mactavish ruled that cecause the USPS is not a public authority in Canada, it cannot use a clause in the Trademarks Act that protects official marks. 'Given that there is no evidence before me that any level of government in Canada exercises any measure of power or control over any aspect of the USPS's operations, I am satisfied that the USPS is not a publish authority for the purposes of (the act),' she wrote

However, similarities between the USPS eagle and Canada Post wing design could pose problems, the court acknowledges. They both share similar design elements: flying figures that point to the right containing 'speed marks.'

Court clears Canada Post to use term 'first class mail', Ottawa Citizen. Saturday 10th December.

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