Only a week after launching a hate-crime investigation into Canadian Nationalist Party (CNP) Leader Travis Patron, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began probing the party for a potential intellectual-property violation.
The CNP, which according to its website “is a movement based on the Christian principles inherent in the history of Canada,” outlines its ideology as “anti-Zionism,” among other things. The party was “in the final stages of applying for the ability to collect tax-deductible political donations and run a slate of candidates in the October federal election,” CBC News reported this July.
Through its online store, the CNP raised funds by selling various items, including one that quickly came under fire as “a clear violation of RCMP intellectual property rights,” RCMP Sergeant Marie Damian told CBC.
Until July 5, the CNP was offering – for $625 – a medallion depicting the RCMP’s Musical Ride.
“No person or organization may use our protected marks without our permission,” added Damian.
THE TRADEMARKS ACT
The RCMP’s name, logo and image are protected under various intellectual property legislation in Canada, Staff Sergeant Tania Vaughan told CCN this August.
“A case in point is section nine of the Trademarks Act,” Vaughan told CCN, adding the section “confers the protection and prohibition to use our marks in a commercial context.”
Under “prohibited marks,” section nine (part one “O”) states, “No person shall adopt in connection with a business, as a trademark or otherwise, any mark consisting of, or so nearly resembling as to be likely to be mistaken for … the name ‘Royal Canadian Mounted Police’ or ‘R.C.M.P.’ or any other combination of letters relating to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or any pictorial representation of a uniformed member thereof.”
The RCMP Act also prohibits any unauthorized use of the RCMP name, representations of its members and marks, badges or insignia, Vaughan told CCN.
FOR COLLECTORS & DEALERS
Issued by the Alberta Mint in 1974, the medallion is regularly offered on online auction sites such as eBay.
“Generally, the sale of RCMP uniform items or items that approximate the RCMP uniform is not permitted. The resale of sanctioned collectibles with the RCMP image, such as coins, is acceptable,” said Vaughan, who added the RCMP intervenes on a “regular basis on trademark infringements brought to its attention.”
While the CNP failed to meet Elections Canada’s July 15 deadline with the 250 signatures required to register as an official party, Patron is running as an independent candidate in Saskatchewan’s Souris-Moose Mountain constituency.
“I feel like I can serve this district better than any other, given my background in the agricultural community as well as the financial technologies industry,” Patron told the Estevan Mercury this August.
“In this district, having a background of agriculture, oil and gas and some of the development in terms of start-up businesses and start-up technology is uniquely fitted towards my skill set.”