“French Press” Descriptive, Federal Court of Appeal Affirms

The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal has affirmed the decision of the lower courts in Bodum USA, Inc. v. Meyer Housewares Canada Inc.   In this case Bodum USA commenced an action against Meyer Housewares alleging infringement, passing off and depreciation of goodwill of its registered trademark, FRENCH PRESS.  Meyer Housewares counterclaimed for a declaration that the registration for FRENCH PRESS was invalid on the basis that “french press” is a common and widespread name for a non-electric coffee maker.   The Federal Court agreed with Meyer, dismissed Bodum USA’s action, and expunged the registration for FRENCH PRESS on the basis that the registration was invalid as “french press” is a generic term.  In a decision issued in early October, the Federal Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision [see case here].

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