Ceci n’est pas une Cour suprême: Marks of the SCC

Those of you who read The Court on the web, rather than in email or by RSS, may notice that we’ve made a slight but important change to our header: gone is the little house in the Wellington Street meadow. In place of the line drawing of the Supreme Court building you’ll now see a line drawing of a pillar, emphasizing somewhat the “THE” of “THE COURT.” If you’re familiar with the SCC building, you will know that columns abound inside, and so this column stands for those; it also suggests, we feel, the academy from which we draw most of our contributors.

Why the change?

It turns out that the sketch we made from a photograph we made produces nevertheless an image trademarked by the Supreme Court, and so we were required to take ours down. Our original image is the one to the left. The Trade-Marks Journal, Vol. 44, p.163 (August 13, 1997) contains four images tradmarked by the SCC. Their version of the sketched courthouse scc_building_trademark.gifappears to the right. (The images in the Journal were not of highest quality, and although they have been scanned at high resolution, thanks to Sharon Wang, reference librarian at Osgoode’s Law Library, the resultant image doesn’t do the original justice, I’m sure.) The Supreme Court has trademarked three other images, presented here:

scc_trademark_02.png   scc_trademark_03.png   scc_trademark_01.png

It’s unclear from this whether any photograph or drawing of the building, recognizable as the Supreme Court, would be considered to fall under these trademarks. Rather than flirt with that possibility — one takedown message from the Supreme Court of Canada is… interesting; two would be unfortunate — The Court simply moved to a more neutral, shall we say subtle, icon. We hope it serves.

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