Hudson’s Bay sues Quebec retail family over alleged trademark infringement of Zellers brand


Hudson’s Bay Co. ULC is suing a Quebec retail family over the use of the Zellers brand.

In a statement of claim filed in Federal Court, the company accuses the Moniz family of trademark infringement, depreciation of goodwill and so-called passing off — the deceptive marketing or misrepresentation of goods.

The Moniz family is behind various recent trademark applications and corporate registries, including Zellers Inc. — incorporated in June 2020 — Zellers Convenience Store Inc. and Zellers Restaurant Inc.

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

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HBC claims that the use of the Zellers brand and trademark threatens to cause confusion between their goods and services and those offered by the Bay.

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The retailer alleges that the intention of taking over the Zellers brand was to either “confuse Canadians or recover a payment from HBC.”

HBC says in court documents that although it closed the last of its stand-alone brick-and-mortar Zellers stores in 2020, HBC continued to have plans for the brand and did not abandon the Zellers trademarks and logos.

The company launched a pop-up Zellers shop inside a Hudson’s Bay store in Burlington, Ont., last summer.

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

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The company is planning a second pop-up Zellers shop at its department store in Anjou, Que., she said.

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

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

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