Legal and Trademarks
Use of the “FireSmart” trademark
As an appendix to this document, there is a list of fair uses for the word FireSmart and Logo usage.
Fair use is broadly defined as: “to the benefit of the Canadian Wildfire Prevention community at large, and not an individual or company in particular”. This is a very broad term, but ultimately the Partners in Protection board decides what is considered fair use and what is not.
Examples of who would not have to execute a legal agreement to use the word FireSmart:
- An agency user group in Canada.
- A community, municipality.
- Professionals representing national, provincial and municipal associations and government departments responsible for emergency services, land-use planning, and forest and resource research and management.
The aim is to be as flexible as possible, while still retaining the power to stop people from using it in an unsuitable way. Full list with examples is found here.
- Commercial use of the marks requires an agreement with Partners in Protection, and the board votes on these decisions. Everyone has to go through the same process, no exceptions for anyone.
- The policies, and the terms of each case regarding marks, is managed by the board, in the interests of the Partners in Protection Association. The trademark committee will be delegated the work of recommendations to the board. The board has the final decision on this – so if the trademark committee recommends that a particular organization should have the rights to use the word FireSmart in a commercial setting, the board can still say no.
- The board can revoke the right to use the trademark immediately if the organization is found to be using it in an improper way.
If you are using the Partners in Protection logo in connection with your fair use rights, you should not change the logo in any way. Changing the color, aspect ratio or shape/form of the logo should be avoided, as should integrating the logo in other structures that will distort the logo.
Use of items that looks like the Partners in Protection logo to illustrate a point (eg. flames, structure, forest for instance) is generally allowed as long as it is not portrayed as a logo.
If in doubt, contact the Partners in Protection trademark committee about your logo usage.
These digital images are the exclusive copyright of the Partners in Protection Association. They must not be distorted or used in any way that is detrimental to Partners in Protection image or reputation.
Examples of Fair Use of the FireSmart Trademark
This is a list of fair uses for the word FireSmart and the other marks. Fair use is broadly defined as: “to the benefit of the Canadian Wildfire Prevention community at large, and not an individual or company in particular”.
The Partners in Protection board decides what constitutes fair use, and if you are unsure of whether your usage is covered by the rules for fair use, please contact the Trademark Committee before you start using the FireSmart trademark.
Here are some of the most common use cases for fair use of the trademark:
- I want to add a page about FireSmart and include the name and logo on our website, can I do that without potential infringement?
- Yes. As long as you don’t try to be misleading about who created FireSmart or what it is, this is OK. You should add “FireSmart� is a registered trademark of Partners in Protection Association , if it is in a product overview, marketing brochure or publication. Of course this does not apply if you are just talking about FireSmart in general. If you link to the Partners in Protection web site (http://www.partnersinprotection.ab.ca), this is perfectly acceptable. As long as you don’t portray yourself as the owner/creator/whatever of FireSmart, this is a classic fair use situation.
- I want to start a FireSmart user group in my community/province, can I do this without explicit permission from the Partners in Protection?
- Yes. You are free to create a user group using the name as long as it is not for profit or misleading as to what the origins and ownership of FireSmart. Use of FireSmart is accepted as long as the user group is representative, active and open to new members or partners. The use may be suspended by Partners in Protection board if these conditions are not respected, for example if a few number of individuals or for profit businesses control the group in their interest.
- I have created a web site that has a catalog of the different available products for FireSmart called (eg; firesmartproducts.com) – can I do this without infringing on the trademark?
- Yes. However, it can’t be a for-profit site (selling products etc), but non-profit use is OK. Which means the web site can make a profit by showing advertisements etc, but these money have to be put back into the organization to cover operating expenses like server hosting etc. – i.e. individuals cannot profit from this.
- I have an agency, company program or website built with FireSmart called eg. FireSmartLandscape or FireSmartLogging. Can I do this?
- Yes. As long as it is under an approved through the fair use term by Partners in Protection board. Partners in Protection have no problem with you using the FireSmart name as part of your name. However, if it is not a related to FireSmart, you can not use the name. If it is a commercial use, you cannot use the FireSmart name without approval from the Partners in Protection board. The only condition is that you state the following in your commercial use if you want to use the FireSmart name: This FireSmart agency, company program and or website are produced independently from the FireSmart name, and carries no guarantee from Partners in Protection Association about quality, suitability or anything else. The supplier of this name assumes all responsibility for it use.