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.

Just Posted

Snowy morning on mountain west of Penticton

Snow fell for about two hours and stayed on the ground for four, says resort manager

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: rain expected

Showers are expected to end by tomorrow

Penticton woman dies after Riva Ridge Mobile Park fire in May

BC Coroners Service says investigation in progress

Comedic play about calling cable service company will be staged in Summerland

The Penticton Chamber Theatre will stage Able Cable in Summerland on June 22

Celebration of the life of Penticton philanthropist Kampe scheduled

David Kampe, 77, died on May 8 surrounded by friends and family.

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Commercial fishers in B.C. now required to wear life-jackets on deck: WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC reports 24 work-related deaths in the commercial fishing industry between 2007 and 2018

Beekeeping Rossland boy finds human kindness sweet as honey

Family overwhelmed by kind offerings of strangers

B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

B.C. government filed a second lawsuit against Alberta on June 14

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Canada’s commitment is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030

Slackwater Brewing officially opens in the South Okanagan

Two level brewery features street side and rooftop patios

Victoria double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst found no shoe prints on scene

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

Most Read