HBC sues family of retailers in Quebec for using Zellers name – .

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HBC sues family of retailers in Quebec for using Zellers name – .


Members of a Quebec family behind recent trademark applications for companies bearing the Zellers name are the subject of a lawsuit brought by Hudson’s Bay Co. ULC, owner of the now defunct trademark. detail.
In a statement filed in Federal Court, the company accuses members of the Moniz family of trademark infringement, goodwill impairment and so-called deceptive marketing or misrepresentation of goods.

The Moniz family is the source of various recent trademark and business register applications, including Zellers Inc., Zellers Convenience Store Inc. and Zellers Restaurant Inc.

“The intention of the personal defendants was either to confuse Canadians or to recover a payment from HBC,” said the statement filed Oct. 5.

The Zellers brand is used to “intentionally mislead Canadian consumers” and “to trade on the business value of HBC,” the retailer said in court documents.

The defendants could not be reached for comment and a response to the claim has yet to be filed in court.

The last real Zellers stores closed last year

HBC claims that the defendants acted in bad faith and that they are “not authorized to use any trade names or trademarks of Zellers.”

“The opportunistic and blatant adoption and use of corporate defenders of Zellers trade names and trademarks is deliberate and outrageous,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the sole registered director for Zellers Canada Inc. – Maria Almerinda Moniz Sousa – is also registered as the sole director for Kmart Canada Ltd. The two company names were registered approximately one month apart in May and June 2020.

The statement indicates that Zellers Inc. has a location in the town of Sorel-Tracy, approximately 80 kilometers from Montreal, and that members of the public are advised that a Zellers / Kmart store will open in the future. The claim added that a second location in Sorel-Tracy has signs indicating that the building is under the management of Zellers Canada Inc.

HBC alleges that the defendants have refused to comply with the company’s cease and desist requests.

Founded in the 1930s

Zellers Department Store was founded in 1931. It was acquired by HBC in 1978 and operated as a discount division of its flagship Hudson’s Bay department stores.

The store peaked at around 350 locations in the late 1990s, before losing ground to big box competitors such as Walmart. In 2011, HBC announced its intention to sell the majority of its remaining Zellers leases to Target Corp.

The retailer closed the last of its stand-alone Zellers brick-and-mortar stores in 2020, but continued to have plans for the brand and did not abandon the Zellers brands and logos, according to court documents.

The company opened a Zellers pop-up store in a Hudson’s Bay store in Burlington, Ont., Last summer.

HBC spokesperson Tiffany Bourre said the Zellers pop-up store was meant to “delight our customers with a fun and nostalgic experience with one of HBC’s most beloved brands.”

The company plans to open a second Zellers pop-up store in its department store in Anjou, Quebec, she said.

Bourre added that the company has filed an application to protect its Zellers brand and avoid consumer confusion.

“The allegations in the complaint relate to unauthorized third party Zellers stores, among other unauthorized uses of the Zellers brand,” she said in an email. “HBC intends to vigorously pursue this request. “

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