Quebec Court: Canada’s Kinda Bilingual

Previously, CanadaFashionLaw covered retailers’ challenge to the Office Quebecois de la Langue Francaise (basically, the French language police).

The Quebec Superior Court issued their decision last week which put the reins on the French language police.

Public signage and marketing in Quebec is regulated by the Quebec Charter of French Language.  The French Charter requires that signage/commercial advertisements be predominantly in French.  However, there are exceptions when trade-marks are involved.  Generally, where the trade-mark is registered in English, the brand owner is not required to display the French equivalent.  In a recent decision that was issued last week, the Superior Court of Quebec held that a non-French trade-mark does not need to be accompanied with a French descriptor.  However, if the French equivalent is also a registered trade-mark, the brand owner is required to use the French version.

Ultimately, it is a business decision on whether your company wishes to register the French version.  If there are strong ties to the Quebec culture, using the French equivalent will certainly assist in fostering better relations with the Quebecois.  If, however, Quebec is a secondary market, it may streamline your company’s marketing materials by not registering in French as well.

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Wrapping Up 2013

A very happy belated new year!

Already 2014 is proving to be a very exciting year!  CanadaFashionLaw is delighted and honoured to have been asked to join Gilbert’s LLP’s partnership.  In addition, in early January CanadaFashionLaw joined a panel at the University of British Columbia’s fashion law panel.

Looking back at 2013, here are the top 5 articles posted on CanadaFashionLaw:

Naturally, throughout 2014 CanadaFashionLaw will continue to cover interesting cases, changes in legislation and interview players in the fashion industry.  Are there any topics in particular you’d like to read about?  Let us know – we’re always looking for feedback.

We’ve also added a “Getting Around Town” page that tracks all of CanadaFashionLaw’s upcoming and past speaking gigs, authored articles and interviews.  Feel free to check it out.

Wishing the best for a happy, healthy and successful 2014!

New York Sets Minimum Standards for Models

Over the past few years, CanadaFashionLaw has been following a grass roots movement within the modeling industry to set standards. There has been some serious traction but none more so than the adoption of legislation!

New York State has now passed legislation, which comes into effect November 20, that requires models under 16 years old to be recognized as ‘child performers’.  This means that their employment will be better regulated. For example, the number of hours a child model can work is limited, also how late they can work will also be monitored. A trust fund must be created where 15% of the model’s gross earnings shall be paid. The employer must also provide for a nurse and on-site study spaces.

It is no surprise that this will have a trickle down effect as to which models will be used on the catwalk and in advertisements. Perhaps we will see less 14 year old models portraying women, which will contribute to a more healthy image for consumers.

Although there are financial penalties available for those employers not abiding by the legislation, the greatest harm will be the PR back lash for infractions, especially in light of the fashion industry’s increasing sensitivity to human rights issues brought on by the Bangladesh travesty.