On March 1, 2013, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-56,
the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. According to the
government's press release, Bill 56 is designed to protect
Canadian consumers, manufacturers and retailers, as well as the
Canadian economy, from threats posed by counterfeit goods. The bill
identifies specific offences related to the selling and
distributing of unauthorized goods or services, and related labels
and packages. Offenses are punishable with fines of up to
$1,000,000 or imprisonment for up to five years (or both), and
should equip brand owners and the Canada Border Services Agency
with more power to prevent sale and importation of counterfeit
The government has also taken the opportunity to make some major
house-keeping revisions, and has introduced significant changes to
trademark protection in Canada such as:
a new "sign" concept, added to the definition of
"trademark", providing for new types of marks such as
colour, smell, taste, and texture , and confirming the
registrability of other types of marks which have been recently
been recognized such as sounds and holograms;
several known statutory terms are being replaced, such as
"wares", "distinguishing guise", and
addition of a "non-utilitarian function" criteria
for trademarks to be registrable;
permitting applications for "certification marks"
based on proposed use;
changes to the opposition regime, including simplification of
introduction of "divisional applications", with the
possibility to merge the resulting registrations; and
express authorization for the Registrar of Trade-marks to
correct obvious errors in issued registrations during a six-month
window after issuance.
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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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