Canada's National Ballet School Wins Lawsuit Against School With Similar Name

Classic Arts News   Canada's National Ballet School Wins Lawsuit Against School With Similar Name
A Quebec judge has ordered a Montreal ballet school to change its name because of possible confusion with Toronto's prominent National Ballet School, NBS announced.

Since 2003, the Montreal institution has been called Ecole nationale de ballet contemporain ("National Contemporary Ballet School"). Toronto's NBS, which was founded in 1959 and is associated with the National Ballet of Canada, is known in French as L'Ecole nationale de ballet.

On January 24, Pepita Capriolo of the Quebec Superior Court granted NBS's request for a permanent injunction against the Montreal school prohibiting it from using the name "Ecole nationale de ballet contemporain" or from promoting itself in ways that are likely to cause confusion with the Toronto company.

Founded in 1966, the Montreal school was originally known as the Ecole sup_rieure de danse des Grands Ballet Canadiens, and became the Ecole sup_rieure de danse du Qu_bec in 1980, according to NBS.

In 2003, the Montreal school changed its name again, to Ecole nationale de ballet contemporain. NBS began legal action soon afterwards. In court, the company argued that the similarity of names was likely to cause confusion and presented evidence that in fact this had already occured.

"This judgement recognizes the considerable investment The National Ballet School/L'Ecole nationale de ballet has made in developing its name and reputation," said NBS administrative director Robert Sirman. "We rely on the substantial goodwill associated with our name to succeed in all our endeavours and simply cannot risk the possibility of confusion in the marketplace."

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