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

Big red treble clef proposed for downtown plaza in Salmon Arm

Idea is to pay tribute to artisans in the community

Church turns welcomes solar power as educational opportunity

Panels on Salmon Arm’s First United Church expected to produce 37 per cent of power needs

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds, chance of showers

According to Environment Canada, showers are expected across the Okanagan tomorrow

Sicamous’ first cannabis store to open June 27

High Mountain Cannabis, located on Finlayson Street, recently received their provincial licence

Seymour Arm road to remain closed until at least early next week

Mudslides close forest service road, repairs can’t be made safely until rain stops

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Villains and Vittles serves up mix of local history, mystery and murder

Twenty-sixth year for annual dinner theatre production at RJ Haney Heritage Village

Confusion over land ownership along Okanagan River Channel

There appears to be some confusion about ownership of two of the properties Coyote Cruises uses

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

In photos: Co-op steps up for Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Armstrong Regional Co-op donates $30,000 through

Okanagan RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Most Read