The Government of Canada has simultaneously tabled five
intellectual property law treaties in Parliament to harmonize
Canada's patent, trade-mark and industrial design law with many
of its most important trading partners around the world.
The treaties which were tabled on January 28, 2014 are the
The Madrid Protocol which provides trade-mark
owners with means of protecting their marks in multiple countries,
in part by enabling applicants to file a single international
application and designate those member countries in which the
applicants seek protection for their marks.
The Singapore Treaty which harmonizes certain
administrative trade-mark registration procedures.
The Nice Agreement which provides a
comprehensive classification system for goods and services for use
in registering trade-marks, simplifying the application process
among member countries.
The Hague Agreement which makes it possible to
obtain protection for industrial designs in a number of member
countries by means of a single international application.
The Patent Law Treaty which harmonizes several
formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent
applications and patents – such as the requirements to obtain
a filing date for an application and the form and content of
applications – thus aiming to make such procedures more
Pursuant to procedures employed in Canada's Parliament, the
Government will now observe a waiting period of at least 21 sitting
days before the introduction of the necessary implementing
legislation. It is expected that numerous amendments will need to
be made to Canada's intellectual property statutes to implement
these treaties. Only when such implementation legislation is
adopted, will the Government formally consent to be bound by these
The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian
intellectual property and technology law. The content is
informational only and does not constitute legal or professional
advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices
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A recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada has highlighted the difficulties in asserting trademark and copyright rights related to the appearance of functional products with unique design elements.
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