Update in Canadian Trademark Law

Takeaway: Canada has revamped its trademark laws and the changes went into effect on June 17, 2019.

Canada has made modifications to its trademark laws that went go into effect on June 17, 2019. First, the renewal term in Canada will be shortened with a change from a 15 year to a 10 year term.

First, Canada will be joining the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol is a system where you may file a single trademark application that will apply to multiple countries, and now, Canada will be a country that you will be able to select under the Madrid Protocol.

Additionally, Canada will now allow divisional applications. In other words, if there are issues with specific goods or services in your current application, you may move forward with the goods and services that are not objected to in your application. This means you may be able to receive a registration sooner for some goods while continuing to argue for the remaining goods and services. However, once all issues have been overcome, the two divided applications may be consolidated into the same registration.

Next, Canada has amended its laws to remove the need to actually use or intend to use the trademark. This has been somewhat controversial as people believe that this will cause trademark squatting similar to what we have seen in cybersquatting disputes. For this reason, the Canadian trademark office has seen a rush of applications to secure rights before this happens later this month.

Finally, the new laws add to the types of marks that may be registered. The law has added items such as holograms, textures, sounds, moving objects, and 3D models to the list of “marks” that can be applied for.