Canada: Débroussaillage des modifications à venir à la Loi sur les marques (C-8 et C-31)

Le législateur ne nous avait pas tellement habitués à ce qu'on modifie la Loi sur les marques de commerce (LMC). Pendant plusieurs années, les praticiens en droit des marques ont mené une vie (législative) assez tranquille, contrairement à leurs voisins de bureau pratiquant en droit d'auteur qui eux semblent passer leur vie à subir des changements législatifs... ou les décisions de la Cour suprême qui ont à peu près le même effet qu'un changement législatif (en pire, bien souvent, ajouterais-je respectueusement).

Depuis le début de l'année 2013 cependant, les annonces de modifications à la LMC se multiplient au point de me faire perdre le peu de latin qu'il me reste. J'imagine que je ne suis pas le seul.

En conséquence, même nos publications, ici sur les Actifs créatifs ou sur le site « officiel » de notre firme, commencent à s'éparpiller.

Toujours prêt à aider, j'ai cru bon débroussailler le tout pour vous.

***

Tout a commencé le 1er mars 2013 avec l'annonce (communiqué de presse pompeux à l'appui) du projet de loi C-56. J'en ai parlé ici.

C-56 était un projet de loi en deux temps: annoncé comme un projet de loi bonifiant les lois sur la PI canadiennes (la LMC et la Loi sur le droit d'auteur (LDA)) pour aider à la lutte anti-contrefaçon, le projet de loi livrait la marchandise, notamment :

  • en bonifiant les recours civils disponibles pour les titulaires de marques;
  • en établissant des nouvelles dispositions criminelles; et
  • en établissant un régime de protection à la frontière donnant plus de pouvoirs aux agents de douane pour intervenir lors de l'importation suspectée de produits contrefaits.

Mais C-56 contenait aussi plusieurs autres dispositions modernisant la LMC quant à certains aspects qui ne concernaient aucunement la lutte contre la contrefaçon. C'était, disions-nous, en préparation de la ratification éventuelle de certains traités en matière de marques de commerce (nommément ceux de Singapour, Nice et Madrid), sans cependant que nous n'ayons d'indications concrètes que la ratification de ces traités était imminente.

J'ai eu le malheur de passer beaucoup de temps à décortiquer C-56 dans un article publié dans les Développements récents du Barreau du Québec (Petit dictionnaire de termes choisis relativement au Projet de loi C-56 – Loi visant à combattre la contrefaçon de produits). Je dis « malheur » parce que le projet a été abandonné.

Par contre, les mêmes amendements à la LMC (ou presque) ont été intégrés dans un nouveau projet de loi C-8 annoncé à l'automne 2013.

Nous avons ensuite été sans nouvelles de C-8 à partir de la fin de l'année 2013. Pendant ce temps, le gouvernement nous a surpris en février dernier en cachant dans un éléphantesque projet de loi fourre-tout des modifications très importantes à la LMC (les plus importantes n'étant pas déjà prévues dans C-8) soient:

  • les fameuses ratifications des traités internationaux qu'on attendait depuis la publication de C-56; et
  • l'abandon (controversé) du besoin d'avoir un usage au Canada pour obtenir un enregistrement de marque de commerce.

Enfin, alors que nous étions en train de finaliser notre bulletin sur C-31 (vous pouvez le lire ici) à la suite des séances d'information de l'OPIC de la fin du mois de septembre, voilà qu'on apprend que C-8 a finalement progressé et passé l'étape de la troisième lecture au Parlement au début du mois d'octobre.

Le législateur va donc de l'avant avec les deux projets de loi (C-8 et C-31).

***

L'exercice de débroussailler tout ça rappelle un peu celui auquel s'adonnent des amis un peu gratteux qui séparent l'addition au sous près après un souper dans un restaurant où on n'a pas voulu leur fournir des factures séparées.

Ça donne ceci:

On va dans C-8 pour:

  • L'adoption de nouvelles mesures (dans la LMC et la LDA) pour lutter contre la contrefaçon, dont les recours civils étendus et le régime de protection à la frontière
    • Ressources:
      • Mon article dans les Développements récents sur C-56 (que j'ai annoté ici pour indiquer quels changements ne sont plus applicables dans C-8) sous:
        • Exportation;
        • Frontière;
        • Importation parallèle;
        • Marque de commerce déposée;
        • Mens rea;
        • Peine;
        • Possession; et
        • Recours civils.
      • Le vidéo de la présentation de ma collègue Joanne Chriqui au sujet des nouvelles mesures anti-contrefaçon (elle y parle de C-56, mais l'ensemble des dispositions dont elle discute ont survécu dans C-8);
      • Cet article des Actifs créatifs.

On va dans C-31 pour:

  • L'ensemble des dispositions modernisant des points plus techniques (mais non négligeables) de la LMC (qui étaient déjà prévues dans C-56 et C-8 pour la plupart)
    • Ressources:
      • Mon article dans les Développements récents tel qu'annoté ici, sous:
        • Avis 45 ciblé;
        • Corrections du Registre;
        • Demande divisionnaire;
        • Établissement;
        • Fonctionnalité;
        • Marchandises;
        • Marques liées;
        • Marques non traditionnelles;
        • Semaine de grâce;
        • Signe; et
        • Signe distinctif.
      • Notre récent bulletin.
  • La ratification des traités internationaux en matière de marques de commerce
    • Ressources:
      • Les articles des Actifs créatifs ici (B. Capogrosso) et ici (moi-même);
      • Notre récent bulletin.

J'espère que ça aide à y voir clair. Sinon, j'ai aussi fait un Edward Tufte de moi-même en vous préparant le diagramme de Venn suivant:

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