INFORMATION REGARDING TRADEMARKS IN CANADA

Madrid Protocol
Canada is now a signatory to the Madrid Protocol.  An application for International Registration can be filed based on one or more basic Canadian applications or registrations, and territorial extension into Canada can be requested by the owner of a Protocol application or International Registration.
 
Paris Convention
A Canadian trademark application may be filed claiming priority to a foreign trademark filing under the Paris Convention, if filed within six months of the earliest foreign filing in the applicant’s country of origin.
 
Nice Classification
Goods and services must be properly classified using the Nice classification system (aka International Classification System), and official filing and renewal fees, in Canada, are now calculated on a per Class basis.  Goods and/or services must further be specified to be in ordinary commercial terms.

 

Foreign Use and Registration as Basis for Registration in Canada
Canada is now signatory to the Singapore Treaty.  Non-traditional marks for sounds, holograms, moving images, scents, tastes, colours, textures, three-dimensional shapes, modes of packaging goods, and positioning of a sign are registerable in Canada under the International Registration process, in whole or in part.  While non-traditional marks have been registrable in Canada for some time, evidence of distinctiveness as of the filing date of the application will generally be required.

Clearly Descriptive Marks
Clearly descriptive marks are not registrable in Canada unless they can be shown to have ‘acquired distinctiveness’ in Canada or to be ‘not without distinctive character’ for marks registered in the applicant’s country of origin.
 
Term of Trade-mark Registration
A Canadian trade-mark registration is valid for 10 years and may be extended indefinitely upon payment of renewal fees.