The Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) last week received a second favourable decision by Canada’s Trademarks Opposition Board (TOB) in a seven-year battle with the Financial Advisors Association of Canada (a.k.a. Advocis) to the integrity of its brand, the Vancouver-based IAFP has announced.
“The decision confirms that Advocis encroached on the IAFP’s trademark, likely creating confusion in Canada through the branding and public use of the name Institute for Advanced Financial Education (IAFE),” the IAFP says in a release.
Following last week’s ruling, IAFP president, Jeff Wachman, said in a statement: “This second decision further justifies our concerns about the resemblance between our name and theirs in essentially the same market.”
In December 2017, the TOB ruled that there was a “reasonable likelihood of confusion” in the marketplace because of “the high degree of similarity between the trademarks and the overlap in the nature of the parties’ goods and services.”
The 2017 decision noted that the Institute of Chartered Life Underwriters of Canada had applied for a trademark for the IAFE in 2010. The trademark it sought was subsequently transferred to Toronto-based Advocis.
The TOB ruled that Advocis “failed to establish, on a balance of probabilities, that confusion is not likely between the mark and the opponent’s trade-mark Institute of Advanced Financial Planners.”