Hudson’s Bay sues Quebec retailer alleging trademark infringement of Zellers brand

Hudson’s Bay Co. ULC is suing a Quebec retail family over the use of the Zellers brand.

In a statement of claim filed in Federal Court, the company accuses the Moniz family of trademark infringement, depreciation of goodwill and so-called passing off — the deceptive marketing or misrepresentation of goods.

The Moniz family is behind various recent trademark applications and corporate registries, including Zellers Inc. — incorporated in June 2020 — Zellers Convenience Store Inc. and Zellers Restaurant Inc.

The defendants could not immediately be reached for comment and a response to the claim has not yet been filed in court.

HBC claims that the use of the Zellers brand and trademark threatens to cause confusion between their goods and services and those offered by the Bay.

The retailer alleges that the intention of taking over the Zellers brand was to either “confuse Canadians or recover a payment from HBC.”

HBC says in court documents that although it closed the last of its stand-alone brick-and-mortar Zellers stores in 2020, HBC continued to have plans for the brand and did not abandon the Zellers trademarks and logos.

The company launched a pop-up Zellers shop inside a Hudson’s Bay store in Burlington, Ont., last summer.

HBC spokeswoman Tiffany Bourre said the pop-up Zellers store was intended to “delight our customers with a fun and nostalgic experience with one of HBC’s most beloved brands.”

The company is planning a second pop-up Zellers shop at its department store in Anjou, Que., she said.

Bourre added that the company filed the claim to protect its Zellers brand and avoid consumer confusion.

“The allegations in the claim relate to planned unauthorized third-party Zellers stores, among other unauthorized uses of the Zellers brand,” she said in an email. “HBC intends to pursue this claim vigorously.”

– This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2021.

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