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Montrealers, IGLOOFEST, and its Trademark – A Love Story

Montreal has an enviable reputation as one of the top cities for festivals and events in the world. Every year (barring the existence of a global pandemic) revellers, sports fans, and music lovers of every stripe flock to join jubilant Montrealers as they cheer on their champions at the Formula 1® Montreal Grand-Prix and the ATP Canadian Open, groove at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and go wild at Osheaga and Piknik Electronik. While these are some of the hottest events of year, there’s one Montreal event that takes home the prize for coldest of the year, and likely on the planet: IGLOOFEST®

IGLOOFEST® is month-long outdoor electronic music festival, held every winter since 2006[1] – no matter how far the temperature drops below zero. As part of a Covid-friendly virtual reboot for this year’s edition, the founders of IGLOOFEST® released a nostalgia-inducing video, a love letter to the festival’s legion of fans and the unique vibe created at this event. Featuring local headliners like CRI, Jacques Greene, Mistress Barbara, amongst other world-class DJs (Rufus del Sol, Modeselektor, and many more over the years), this event grew to host 25,000 partygoers in 2020, making it one of the clearest representations of the indomitable Montreal festival spirit.

An event as extraordinary as IGLOOFEST® is sure to catch the eye of those hoping to piggyback off its success. For this reason, it was crucial for the event to register its trademark. The IGLOOFEST® trademark was filed on October 23rd, 2008 and, at the time, claimed use as of January 21, 2006. The first registered owner was the SOCIÉTÉ DU VIEUX-PORT DE MONTRÉAL INC. and it was only transferred to the founder’s corporation on December 24, 2013. The assignment of this trademark to the owners would enable them to continue bringing their innovative spirit to the event, without the fear that copycats might dilute the power of its name. The founders began benefitting from the wide range of protections afforded by the Trademarks Act, including:

  • Rights to directly license the trademark to others, as well as to control “the character or quality of the goods or services, then the use, advertisement or display of the trademark” per section 50 of the Trademarks Act[2];

  • An initial 15 year period of protection across Canada, because their trademark was registered prior to the June 17, 2019 amendments to the Trademarks Act. Trademarks now registered in Canada under section 46 of the Act are granted a 10 year term of protection, and renewable for successive 10 year periods;

  • An assumed right to exclusive use of the trademark across Canada. You won’t see an IGLOOFEST® imposter popping up in Vancouver!

  • Possibility of seizing counterfeit products at the Canadian border[3];

  • A public notice of ownership is issued by way of the Canadian trademark register. A quick search of “IGLOOFEST” in the register’s search tool will clearly show all the details about the trademark, who applied for it, and who owns it, ridding the matter of all ambiguity;

  • The creation of an asset on the company’s financials. This helps IGLOOFEST® remain financially healthy and attractive to supporters and sponsors, so the that the festival can get better every year;

  • The ability to initiate domain name ownership disputes and register .CA domains, making it easier for them to acquire and keep as their online home;

  • Exemption from the Charter of the French Language in Quebec. While the word “Igloofest” appears in neither French nor English dictionaries, knowing that trademarks offer an exemption from the Charter of the French language can save headaches down the road; and

  • Many other advantages.

With so many protections in place, festival organizers are free to spend their time doing what they do they best – developing the one of the most creative electronic music events in the world and contributing to the Montreal’s unparalleled cultural scene. With the extra breathing room provided by a trademark, fans can be certain that the in-person version of the IGLOOFEST® will be back and better than ever as we exit the pandemic.

Third Party Trademarks

All product names, trademarks™ and registered trademarks® in this text are the property of their respective owners.

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