Satinder Dhillon of Abbotsford 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 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

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

An Abbotsford man says he’ll take his lawsuit claiming rights to the “People’s Party of Canada” name to “the highest court in the land” if he has to, but he’s also considering changing the name of his party to participate in the next federal election.

Satinder Dhillon was ordered to pay the People’s Party of Canada $20,000 in a scathing ruling from a Federal Court judge that shut down a “nonsensical” motion to bar the party from using its name in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection.

Dhillon took the People’s Party and its leader, right-wing renegade and former Conservative Party leadership contender Maxime Bernier, to court in February claiming copyright and trademark of the name “People’s Party of Canada.”

Dhillon filed trademark and copyright applications in September, shortly following Bernier’s announcement that he was intending to create a party of the same name.

RELATED: Judge ‘tough but fair’ in Abbotsford man’s People’s Party lawsuit: lawyer

The hearing was only for an injunction ahead of the byelection, and Dhillon said he expects bring the matter to a full trial.

“We hold the copyright and trademark, and we have over 2,000 pages of evidence to support our claim,” Dhillon said, adding that the hearing reflected only a few hours in the courtroom.

A full trial would allow a judge to fully deliberate the evidence, he added.

But the ruling from the injunction hearing offered a glimpse into the court’s view of the parties’ arguments – and that view was not favourable to Dhillon.

But the Abbotsford man says he’s not going to take the ruling sitting down – he’ll take the matter to the “highest court in the land,” Dhillon said.

“I think the judge’s comments were unfair to say the least,” he said.

He added that by getting a copyright and trademark on the “People’s Party of Canada” name, he was doing what Elections Canada suggested to protect his claim to the name.

It’s not clear whether the Supreme Court of Canada would take his case – of the 600 applications the country’s top court receives per year, only about 80 are accepted, according to the SCC website. The Federal Court of Appeal, too, could pass on the lawsuit if it’s deemed “vexatious,” or an abuse of process.

In the meantime, given the proximity of the next federal election, Dhillon said he is considering changing the name of his party so he can participate in the election.

RELATED: Abbotsford man’s People’s Party lawsuit heading to court

In the decision rendered earlier this month, Justice Roger Lafrenière determined that Dhillon fell “well short of establishing a serious issue to be tried or that they will suffer irreparable harm if the injunctive relief requested is not granted.”

“The entire premise of the Plaintiffs’ claim of copyright is nonsensical,” Lefrenière wrote.

The copyright registered for the People’s Party of Canada applies to “communication signals,” something that only a broadcaster can copyright. Dhillon claimed that by sharing a 2015 Times of Canada article in which he is quoted referencing a “People’s Party of Canada,” he counted as a broadcaster. Lefrenière was not convinced by that argument.

As for the trademark, the court ruled that, although Dhillon mentions a “People’s Party of Canada” in an article, it does not distinguish it as a political party.

Dhillon claimed to spend “countless hours building rapport, support and political clout” for his political party, but “the evidence before me suggests that the Plaintiffs have taken no active steps to promote their party since 2015,” Lafrenière wrote.

RELATED: Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

“After almost three years of apparent inactivity, the Plaintiffs rushed to protect their party’s name on the same day that the Defendants began promoting theirs. More likely than not, this is not a coincidence.”

Bernier’s party sought $40,000 in relief from Dhillon and his party, which countered that costs should be $5,000 to $7,000.

The court, however, landed near the middle, at $20,000.

“Given that the Defendants were entirely successful in resisting the confusing and essentially baseless motion, I conclude that costs should be awarded at an elevated scale.”

Martin Masse, a spokesperson for Bernier’s party, said it’s not clear at this point whether the matter will go to a full trial, as it depends on whether or not Dhillon intends to pursue the matter further.

Dean Davison, the lawyer representing Dhillon, has not responded to a request for comment.

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

(Black Press file photo)
Trail RCMP fine event organizer for flouting PHO order

Twenty-nine people attended an event at a place of worship in Trail

Violin Lake last fall. Photo: City of Trail
City of Trail applies for grant to decomission dams

Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation grant to restore Cambridge Creek and Violin Lk system

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Chris Kobelka
Trail Smoke Eaters recruit top prospects

Trail Smoke Eaters building for future in 17-year-old defencemen Joel Barton and Chris Kobelka

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Most Read