On May 8, 2014, the Office Québécois de la Langue Française (OQLF) appealed the Superior Court’s decision allowing English-only trade-marks on store signs in Quebec.
On April 9, 2014, the Quebec Superior Court issued its decision allowing English-only trade-marks on store signs in Quebec. This decision comes after years of debate between major retailers against the OQLF, to allow retailers the right to display English-only trade-marks on storefront signage.
In Quebec, the Charter of the French Language requires businesses to use a French version of their name on store signage. However, the Regulation Respecting the Language of Commerce and Business, provides an exception to this rule. It states that non-French signage may be used if the name is recognized as a trade-mark under the Trade-marks Act and there is no registered French version of the mark. The Court found that the public English-only signage by the major businesses does not contravene the French language charter and therefore these businesses should have the right to display English-only trade-marks on storefront signage.
Once again, these businesses will need to defend their right to use their Trade-marks in English rather than translating them to French.