Constellation Brands US Operations c. Société de vin internationale itée, 2019 QCCS 3610


Read full decision. Summary prepared by Alan Macek:

This case concerns the use of promotional leaflets by the defendant (“SVI”), a Quebec-based producer of wines sold in grocery and retail stores, during the fall of 2015 and the winter of 2016. ... Those images were used in conjunction with statements claiming that two of SVI’s new wines were comparable to wines sold by Constellation in stores operated by the Société des alcools du Québec. ... Constellation contends that SVI’s use of the leaflets infringed on some of its intellectual property rights. Asserting causes of action arising out of both the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act, it primarily seeks to recover profits made by SVI, which are alleged to amount to $833,680. ... Constellation’s mistaken belief that it did not have to prove that the profits sought related to revenues resulting from SVI’s use of the leaflets is fatal to its claim. The record contains no evidence tending to demonstrate such causation, and one cannot simply assume that the use of the leaflets led to an increase in SVI’s revenues. And even if one could reasonably assume that the leaflets had some positive impact on SVI’s revenues, quantifying that impact in a non-arbitrary manner would be impossible given the current state of the record.


Canadian Intellectual Property