Six multinational retail chains have won their case against the Office Québécois de la Langue Française.
WalMart, Best Buy, Costco, Gap, Old Navy and Guess had been told by the OQLF to add a French descriptor to their trademarked names, or risk losing their francisation certificates.
Quebec Superior Court has now ruled that the language office was out of line, and should not have threatened the stores with the loss of their certificates.
In a 58-page decision, Justice Michel Yergeau declared that “public signage by the plaintiffs of their trademarks exclusively in a language other than French, when there is no French version on the trademark, does not contravene the French language charter nor the law on the language of businesses.”
The OQLF has 30 days to appeal the ruling. A spokesperson says they are studying whether to go that route.
Read the Quebec Superior Court decision here.