Satinder Dhillon of Abbotsford has filed a lawsuit alleging Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada has infringed on his trademark and copyright of the same name. (Facebook photo)

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

An Abbotsford man has filed a lawsuit with Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada, claiming the newly formed party has infringed on a trademark he registered in September.

Bernier cut his former ties with the Conservative Party after losing to Andrew Scheer a vote to lead that party into this year’s election. In September, Bernier announced he would be creating a new party: The People’s Party of Canada.

But Abbotsford resident Satinder Singh Dhillon has filed a statement of claim with the Federal Court of Canada to “take back the name ‘People’s Party of Canada,’ ” according to a news release.

RELATED: Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada arrives in the Fraser Valley

“The byelection underway in Burnaby is the first time the other party using our name has put forward a candidate, so it was critical we file for an injunction to show Mr. Bernier and anyone in his party that we are serious,” Dhillon said in a statement. “So far, they have ignored the cease-and-desist letter sent last month by our Chief Agent, Mr. [Emmet] Pierce.”

Dhillon also filed for a judicial review of Elections Canada’s chief elections officer’s decision to approve Bernier’s application to use the name People’s Party of Canada, stating that it is a copyright and trademark infringement.

Because Bernier’s party is running a candidate in the Burnaby South byelection coming on Feb. 25, Dhillon’s lawyer, Dean Davison of Davison Law Group in Vancouver, says “there is some urgency” to getting the judicial review in front of a judge.

“I don’t know how prepared Mr. Bernier or his party is to deal with this quickly. Hopefully they are prepared and we can get into court within weeks or days,” Davison said.

“If not, there is the big election, which really is the main issue. So hopefully as soon as we can.”

Dhillon registered “People’s Party of Canada” as a copyright on Sept. 18, 2018, according to the federal government’s copyright registry. That registration notes the “People’s Party of Canada” name was first published with links to Dhillon on July 1, 2015.

In a July 2015 article in The Times of Canada, a news magazine focusing on the South Asian community, Dhillon said he founded an anti-corruption movement in Canada.

“The PPC (People’s Party of Canada) is not about politics, it is much more than that. It is a movement to inform the citizens about what is really going on in this country,” Dhillon is quoted saying in the article posted online in 2015.

Davison said part of Dhillon’s claim hinges on that 2015 quote.

“At that point he gained some rights just by the usage,” Davison said in an interview with The News.

According to the federal government’s trademark registry, Satinder Dhillon of Abbotsford filed a trademark application for the name “People’s Party of Canada” on Sept. 14, 2018, the same day that Bernier publicly announced his new party.

RELATED: Maverick MP Maxime Bernier launches new party as The People’s Party of Canada

Davison said the timing of the trademark application was an attempt to protect the name after Bernier announced his new party.

“He said to Elections Canada … ‘What could I do to protect my name?’ They said, ‘Go and get a copyright and a trademark.’ So he did,” Davison said.

On Sept. 20, 2018, the trademark was formalized, according to the federal government website.

According to the registry, the “People’s Party of Canada” is trademarked under class 38 (telecommunications), which “includes mainly services allowing at least one person to communicate with another by sensory means.”

In an email statement, Martin Masse, spokesperson for Bernier’s party, said the party is “confident that our party was registered in accordance with the rules and that these lawsuits have no legal basis.”

Dhillon filed the “People’s Party of Canada” name with Elections Canada on Sept. 25, 2018, three weeks before Bernier filed his application, Davison said.

In order to formalize the name of the party, Elections Canada requires at least 250 people to confirm their support in print by mail or in person. Dhillon’s lawsuit claims Bernier’s geographical proximity to the Elections Canada offices in Quebec gave him an advantage to filing his full paperwork.

He also claims that Elections Canada didn’t take into account a postal strike, which began in October, that could have delayed Dhillon’s filings.

“It is also significant that Mr. Bernier’s very public discussion of the party name during his application period concerned some of Mr. Dhillon’s supporters, who did not want to unintentionally sign up as a supporter of the other party. That further slowed Mr. Dhillon’s application and damaged his interests,” Davison said.

Although the claim is that Elections Canada did not take those factors into account, Davison acknowledged that the federal elections agency may have evidence that could contradict that.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ fire which made its way to the home

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Is construction in Kelowna hurting small businesses, or helping them?

Voices from both sides of the spectrum weigh in

Kelowna baseballers invited to league all-star game

The 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game will have two players from the Kelowna Falcons

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Most Read