Fight Over Mormon Trademarks in Canada
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Canada claims in court that a break-off polygamous sect based in British Columbia is using confusingly similar trademarks that infringe upon the mainstream Mormon Church's marks.
Plaintiffs The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Canada, the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Intellectual Reserve Inc. claim in B.C. Supreme Court that the polygamous sect, headed by controversial leader Winston Blackmore, is using infringing marks and passing itself off as associated with the plaintiffs, which swore off polygamy in 1890.
Defendants include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc., formerly the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Fundamentalists Inc. and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc.
The plaintiffs claim they haven't been able to register their corporate names in British Columbia because defendants wrongfully changed and registered the names with the province's corporate registry in 2010.
The defendants practice polygamy, marriage to underage girls, trafficking in women, forced marriages and turn out "young men or boys who have few or no skills, no support and little education as a means of enforcing discipline with the Sect and reducing the supply of men in the Sect available to marry the girls in the Sect," the complaint states. "The plaintiffs do not endorse, condone or support the Blackmore Sect's practices and tenets."
The plaintiffs claim that confusion with defendants has damaged the mainstream church's reputation and that representatives "have to spend significant time and resources trying to correct misinformation and confusion regarding the Church's relationship to the Blackmore Sect's practices and tenets."
The plaintiffs seek a declaration that they own the marks and an injunction to compel defendants to stop using them.
They are represented by Terrance Kowalchuk and Aivaz Alibhai with Miller Thomson LLP in Vancouver.