What business owners should know about Canada’s new trademark laws. Canada’s new trademark laws significantly expand the classic definition of a trademark. In addition, the new laws that go into effect on June 19 are more relaxed than previous trademark laws, which were seen as significantly stiffer than those in other countries.
Canada’s Trademark Laws
The new regulations should simplify the process for businesses in the United States seeking to trademark a product – or a more tech-driven concept – in Canada. At the same time, experts warn that the simplified process could open the door to litigation. Because the date of first use will no longer be a requirement of a Canadian trademark application, which copycats could take advantage of when filing. It also speeds up the application process.
Some changes to note:
- New applications will not be required to pay a government registration fee.
- Canada will now be part of the Madrid Protocol, which allows someone filing a trademark application to file a single international application covering all of the countries part of the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol went into effect in the United States in 2003. (Click here to find out which other countries and the U.S. and Canada are part of the Madrid Union.)
- A Declaration of Use is no longer required for trademark applications, not just for new applications but also for pending applications.
- Canadian trademark regulations also fall under the international Nice Classification of goods and services, established in 1957 and regularly updated. There are currently 45 different classes for goods and services under the Nice system.
- Fees will change, and applicants will pay a $200 (Canadian dollar or CAD) registration fee for declaration of use. Various additional fees depend on the Nice Classification of goods and services. For example, first-class trademarks will be $330 for the first class plus $100 for each additional class. Canada previously did not follow the Nice Classification system; fees were 250 Canadian dollars regardless of the class.
- To renew a trademark, registration fees will be $400 for the first class and $125 for each additional class, up from the current $350. Again to reflect Canada’s participation in the Nice Classification system.
At EmergeCounsel, we have the experience to help your business secure marks in Canada. If you are planning on expanding your business north of the border, please contact us today to find out how we can help make the trademark process easier! Experienced marketers generally believe a Canadian strategy is a must because of its geographic proximity to the United States. And as the largest trading partner and ability to quickly add 10% of eligible consumers to an American business.