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)

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)

Abbotsford 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 4 to 10, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Active COVID-19 case in Delta hit new high

262 cases for the week of April 4 to 10, most since BC CDC began releasing weekly city-level data

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read