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.

Just Posted

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a new FireSmart coordinator. (Black Press file photo)
FireSmart coordinator named for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Kerry Riess will provide assistance to mitigate potential wildfire hazards

The damages to the downtown park in Keremeos. One of the trees that was uprooted was a memorial tree with a plaque. (Submitted)
Memorial tree in Keremeos park uprooted by vandals

All of the trees in the small park were torn up and the statue was shifted

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Most Read