Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. et al. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc. et al., 2005 FCA 332

JudgeDesjardins, Rothstein and Pelletier, JJ.A.
CourtFederal Court of Appeal (Canada)
Case DateOctober 17, 2005
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations2005 FCA 332;(2005), 343 N.R. 235 (FCA)

Positive Attitude Safety v. Albian Sands (2005), 343 N.R. 235 (FCA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2005] N.R. TBEd. OC.046

Albian Sands Energy Inc. and Jeff Stibbard (appellants/respondents by cross-appeal) v. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc., James S. Burns and Claire Burns (respondents/appellants by cross-appeal)

(A-407-04; 2005 FCA 332)

Indexed As: Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. et al. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc. et al.

Federal Court of Appeal

Desjardins, Rothstein and Pelletier, JJ.A.

October 17, 2005.

Summary:

The plaintiffs brought an action against the defendants for passing off respecting the plain­tiffs' unregistered Positive Attitude Safety System and PASS trademarks and copy­right infringement respecting the plain­tiffs' PASS materials (i.e., a worker driven safety system). The defendants brought a mo­tion under rule 216 for summary judg­ment dismissing the action, submitting that there was no genuine issue for trial. In re­sponse, the plaintiffs sought dismissal of the defendants' motion and summary judg­ment on the claims.

The Federal Court, in a judgment reported (2004), 258 F.T.R. 30, held that there was a genuine issue for trial respecting trademark infringement (passing off) and copyright in­fringement. The court was satisfied that copy­right infringement occurred. The trial judge would have to determine, inter alia, whether the defendants were protected by a licensing agreement. The court set out the issues to be determined at trial. The defend­ants appealed the trial judge's finding that the plaintiffs had a valid copyright in the PASS materials, submitting that the issue was not before the court. The defendants al­so claimed that the trial judge erred in find­ing a copyright infringement and a passing-off. The plaintiffs cross-appealed.

The Federal Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and granted summary judgment dis­missing the plaintiff's trademark and copy­right infringement claims. The trial judge erred in finding a copyright infringement sub­ject to the effect of a purported licence (consent). Until the issue of consent was resolved, there could be no finding of in­fringement. The court dismissed the cross-appeal.

Copyright - Topic 4642

Defences - Consent - The defendants alleg­edly copied the plaintiffs' worker driven safety system (PASS) to develop, for in­ter­nal use, their own system (ASESS) - The trial judge found copyright infringe­ment subject to a determination of whether the plaintiffs consented to such use under a purported licence - The Federal Court of Ap­peal held that copyright infringement re­quired a lack of consent by the copyright owner - The trial judge erred in finding infringement subject to the effect of the purported licence - Such a finding was il­logical - Until the issue of consent was de­ter­mined, there could be no copyright in­fringe­ment - See paragraphs 37 to 41.

Trademarks, Names and Designs - Topic 1806

Trademarks - Infringement - Test - Con­fusion with other marks - [See Trade­marks, Names and Designs - Topic 3068 ].

Trademarks, Names and Designs - Topic 1807

Trademarks - Infringement - Use - General - [See Trademarks, Names and Designs - Topic 3068 ].

Trademarks, Names and Designs - Topic 3068

Trademarks - Unfair competition - Passing off - The plaintiffs brought an action against the defendants for passing off re­specting the plaintiffs' unregistered Posi­tive Attitude Safety System and PASS trade­marks and copyright infringement re­specting the plaintiffs' PASS materials (i.e., a worker driven safety system) - The trial judge found that any use by the de­fendants of the plaintiffs' trademark was internal - The defendants had in no way dealt with the system in a commercial way with others - The Federal Court of Appeal held that there could be a trademark in­fringement (Trade-marks Act, s. 7(b)) and passing off (s. 7(c)) only if there was "con­fusion" (s. 6(2)) and "use" (s. 4(1)) - Ab­sent a transfer of the system in the course of trade, there could be no "con­fusion", no "use" and accordingly, no trademark in­fringement or passing off - The trial judge erred in failing to grant the defen­dants summary judgment dismissing the infringe­ment and passing-off claims as presenting no genuine issue for trial - See paragraphs 29 to 35.

Statutes Noticed:

Copyright Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42, sect. 27(1) [para. 39].

Trade-marks Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. T-13, sect. 4(1) [para. 31]; sect. 6(2) [para. 30]; sect. 7(b), sect. 7(c) [para. 14].

Counsel:

Michael D. Manson and Nicholas Fyfe, Q.C., for the appellant;

Bruce M. Green, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Smart & Biggar, Vancouver, B.C., for the appellant;

Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala, Vancouver, B.C., for the respondent.

This appeal and cross-appeal were heard on April 14, 2005, at Vancouver, B.C., be­fore Desjardins, Rothstein and Pelletier, JJ.A., of the Federal Court of Appeal.

On October 17, 2005, Pelletier, J.A., de­livered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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14 practice notes
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Canadian Telecommunications Law
    • September 6, 2011
    ...(Div. Ct.) ....................................................... 136 Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc., 2005 FCA 332, 43 C.P.R. (4th) 418, 259 D.L.R. (4th) 639 ..................... 139 Potter v. Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. (1906), 3 C.L.R. 479, 12 A.L.R. 82 (......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Intellectual Property Law. Second Edition
    • June 15, 2011
    ...S.C.J. No. 84 ...................................................... 219 Albian Sands Energy Inc. v. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc., 2005 FCA 332, 259 D.L.R. (4th) 639, 43 C.P.R. (4th) 418 .......................... 154 Aldelo Systems Inc. v. Sinclair, 2010 ONSC 5229, [2010] O.J. No. ......
  • Copyright
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Intellectual Property Law. Second Edition
    • June 15, 2011
    ...reasons is infringement at all: Kraft , above note 130 at [81]. 537 Albian Sands Energy Inc. v. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. , 2005 FCA 332 at [39]. Similarly for criminal infringement: Laurier , above note 203. See generally D. Vaver, “Consent or No Consent: The Burden of Proof in ......
  • Distrimedic Inc. v. Dispill Inc. et al., (2013) 440 F.T.R. 209 (FC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court (Canada)
    • October 15, 2013
    ...10 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 299]. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. et al. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc. et al., [2006] 2 F.C.R. 50; 343 N.R. 235; 2005 FCA 332, refd to. [para. Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute v. Concourse International Trading Inc. (1988), 19 C.P.R.(3d) 393 (T.M.O.B.), refd......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Distrimedic Inc. v. Dispill Inc. et al., (2013) 440 F.T.R. 209 (FC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court (Canada)
    • October 15, 2013
    ...10 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 299]. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. et al. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc. et al., [2006] 2 F.C.R. 50; 343 N.R. 235; 2005 FCA 332, refd to. [para. Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute v. Concourse International Trading Inc. (1988), 19 C.P.R.(3d) 393 (T.M.O.B.), refd......
  • Canada v. Witchekan Lake First Nation,
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • May 17, 2023
    ...the case to meet: Milano Pizza, above at paras 107-108 and 112, citing Albian Sands Energy Inc. v Positive Attitude Safety System Inc., 2005 FCA 332 [Albian Sands] at para F. Issues of credibility should not be decided on a motion for summary judgment. Observing live testimony and cross-exa......
  • Harmony Consulting Ltd. v. Foss (G.A.) Transport Ltd. et al., (2012) 435 N.R. 200 (FCA)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Federal Court of Appeal (Canada)
    • February 14, 2012
    ...190; 2012 FCA 12, refd to. [para. 29]. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. et al. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc. et al., [2006] 2 F.C.R. 50; 343 N.R. 235; 2005 FCA 332, refd to. [para. 29]. 671122 Ontario Ltd. v. Sagaz Industries Canada Inc. et al., [2001] 2 S.C.R. 983; 274 N.R. 366; 150 O.A.......
  • Utah v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 FC 923
    • Canada
    • Federal Court (Canada)
    • September 22, 2020
    ...the case to meet: Milano Pizza, above at paras 107-108 and 112, citing Albian Sands Energy Inc. v Positive Attitude Safety System Inc., 2005 FCA 332 [Albian Sands] at para 45. F. Issues of credibility should not be decided on a motion for summary judgment. Observing live testimony and cross......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Canadian Telecommunications Law
    • September 6, 2011
    ...(Div. Ct.) ....................................................... 136 Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. v. Albian Sands Energy Inc., 2005 FCA 332, 43 C.P.R. (4th) 418, 259 D.L.R. (4th) 639 ..................... 139 Potter v. Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. (1906), 3 C.L.R. 479, 12 A.L.R. 82 (......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Intellectual Property Law. Second Edition
    • June 15, 2011
    ...S.C.J. No. 84 ...................................................... 219 Albian Sands Energy Inc. v. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc., 2005 FCA 332, 259 D.L.R. (4th) 639, 43 C.P.R. (4th) 418 .......................... 154 Aldelo Systems Inc. v. Sinclair, 2010 ONSC 5229, [2010] O.J. No. ......
  • Copyright
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Intellectual Property Law. Second Edition
    • June 15, 2011
    ...reasons is infringement at all: Kraft , above note 130 at [81]. 537 Albian Sands Energy Inc. v. Positive Attitude Safety System Inc. , 2005 FCA 332 at [39]. Similarly for criminal infringement: Laurier , above note 203. See generally D. Vaver, “Consent or No Consent: The Burden of Proof in ......

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