Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus v. 3878422 Canada Inc., Maison Alexis de Portneuf Inc. and Saputo Dairy Products Canada G.P.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Contracts — Interpretation of contracts — Standard of review — Did the Superior Court err in its interpretation of two settlement transactions with respect to the use of trademarks? — Did the Court of Appeal err in dismissing the appeal?


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus (“the Ministry”) entered into two transactions with predecessors of the respondent 3878422 Canada Inc. (“3878 Canada”), in which the Ministry purchased the registered trademark HALOMI and 3878 Canada’s predecessor agreed to avoid certain uses of the trademark.

The respondents started producing and marketing cheese in Canada with the word “Haloumi” on the package. The Ministry brought an action for breach of contract and contractual interference under the prior agreements. In the Superior Court of Quebec, the trial judge found that the agreements only prohibited “use as a trademark,” and that “Haloumi” was being used only as a descriptive term and that there was no breach of the agreement. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision.

Lower Court Rulings

August 23, 2017
Superior Court of Quebec

2017 QCCS 3803
Motion for dismissal pursuant to art. 168 CCP rejected.
November 12, 2020
Superior Court of Quebec

2020 QCCS 3752, 500-17-098048-179
Action dismissed.
January 20, 2023
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2023 QCCA 94, 500-09-0292244-209
Appeal dismissed.