Recently, there was a bit of noise in the Canadian courts in the case Anchor Brewing Company v. The Sleeman Brewing & Malting Co. Ltd. about the ownership of the word "steam" in relation to beer. Here is the initial background:
On June 23, 1999, Anchor instituted this action against Sleeman for trade-mark infringement, and, in particular, depreciation of goodwill. Sleeman elected to proceed by oral examination for discovery as permitted by the Federal Court Rules, 1998, and on discovery, Anchor's representatives refused to provide several answers. Following an order from Prothonotary Aronovitch to compel them to answer, these representatives agreed to respond. When it obtained the replies to its questions, Sleeman filed its statement of defense and counterclaim, on May 31, 2001 to expunge Anchor's trade-mark.