As a result of a recent Federal Court order, the Canadian
Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will now be accepting
applications for trade-marks that are sounds. The first such
application accepted is the roar of the MGM lion.
The registration of such "sound marks" have been
accepted for years in some other jurisdictions, such as the U.S.,
where registrations have been granted for the NBC chimes, THX and
its Deep Note and the Harlem Globetrotters theme, Sweet Georgia
Brown, in addition to the aforesaid roaring lion. Harley
Davidson tried to register the sound of a motorcycle engine, but
withdrew the application after widespread opposition.
Back in Canada, CIPO had delayed accepting applications for sound
marks until now, citing case law indicating that a trade-mark must
be capable of being depicted visually. Sound mark applications will
now be accepted, provided that the sound is not functional or in
some way clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the
underlying wares or services. Application requirements are set out
in CIPO's Practice Notice of March 28, 2012. It should be noted
that consultations are currently underway at CIPO for the
registration of other non-traditional trade-marks, such as motion
marks and holograms and someday perhaps even scents.
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The Federal Court dismissed a motion by Apotex seeking particulars from Allergan's pleading relating to the prior art, inventive concept, promised utility and sound prediction of utility of the patents at issue.
Last year we saw the Canadian Courts release trademark decisions that granted a rare interlocutory injunction, issued jailed sentences for failure to comply with injunctive relief, grappled with trademark and internet issues...
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