On March 1, 2013, the Canadian Government introduced Bill C-56,
Combating Counterfeit Products Act. The passage of Bill
C-56 would result in amendments to the Copyright Act and
Trade-marks Act designed to strengthen the rights of
copyright and trade-mark owners in Canada.
The proposed legislation aims to protect public safety and
health by curtailing the importation of and trade in counterfeit
goods in Canada. The Government has sought to address the
growing problem of counterfeit branded goods (often referred to as
"knock-offs") and pirated copyright-protected works by
granting increased powers to the Canada Border Services Agency
(CBSA) and through the introduction of new enforcement measures for
The most significant change reflected in the draft legislation
is the establishment of a new border regime to prevent commercial
counterfeit goods from entering Canada for sale and distribution.
The Bill proposes to expand the powers of the CBSA by granting
Canadian border officers the legal authority and discretion to
search for, examine and detain suspected commercial shipments of
counterfeit goods and to contact rights holders concerning detained
shipments. The CBSA's proposed new search and seizure powers
would not apply to commercial shipments where Canada is not the
In addition, Bill C-56 would establish a new voluntary
"request for assistance" system to allow copyright and
trade-mark owners to file requests with the CBSA for assistance in
detaining commercial shipments suspected of containing counterfeit
goods that infringe on the owner's rights. Other measures
seeking to reduce trade in counterfeit goods include provisions
that prohibit the manufacture, possession, importation, export or
attempts to export counterfeit goods and the introduction of new
criminal offences for the import and export of goods that infringe
trade-mark rights or copyright.
Finally, Bill C-56 includes sweeping changes seeking to
modernize the Trade-marks Act and to simplify and
streamline trade-mark registration and opposition procedures in
Canada. Further information about the provisions of Bill C-56 as
they relate specifically to these proposed changes to the
Trade-marks Act will be addressed in a further Osler
Update to follow shortly – so stay tuned!
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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