They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the city of Calgary isn’t flattered by a Spanish accessories company using a similar brand.
‘The World of Calgary’ is a company located in Spain that sells branded watches, sunglasses and other accessories online. Its name, logo and typeface resemble the current and past branding that the City of Calgary uses on its letterhead, signage and city vehicles.
“This is obviously a City of Calgary branding scam,” Ward 9 Councilor Gian-Carlo Carra said when he saw the company logo for the first time on Monday. “I have no idea what this is about, but it’s strange and obviously we should take a close look at it.”
City says it is aware of the business and in a statement to CTV News, the city’s legal department says, “The City of Calgary does not register its trademarks in multiple jurisdictions internationally. and the company does not sell its products in Canada.
The city says it will continue to monitor the problem and that if “The World of Calgary” products are sold in Canada, the city “will take action.”
“I never thought it was a particularly wise use of the City’s time or resources to prosecute people for copyright infringement,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi of the company.
But the city fought over branding issues. Most recently in May, when a local craft brewer received a cease and desist letter for his “Fort Calgary” beer. The two sides then reached an agreement to allow the beer to be sold for charitable purposes, provided the brewery no longer uses the name.
Several CTV requests for comment to ‘The World of Calgary’ have yet to be answered.
The watches on the company’s website sell for between € 10-18, or around CAD $ 15-27.
Headphones and bags with the company’s Calgary-like branding are also available.