The New Regime for Trademarks in Canada

On September 28, 2018, the Canadian Intellectual Propriety Office announced that the modifications to the Trademarks Act and the new Trademarks Regulations will enter into effect in early 2019.

As a result of these legislative changes, Canada will be able to join the following three treaties concerning trademarks: the Nice Agreement, the Madrid Protocol, and the Singapore Treaty.

Among the notable changes to Canada’s trademarks regime, it will now be possible to:

  • Register a mark in a foreign country from Canada via an international trademark registration system that exists between signatory countries of the Madrid Protocol.
  • File an application without specifying a filing basis.
  • Accelerate the issuance of the certificate of registration, because it will no longer be necessary to file a Declaration of Use for marks with a basis of proposed use.
  • Register non-traditional trademarks, such as: a smell, a flavor, a texture, a hologram, a moving image, and (a) color-scheme(s). Certain kinds of non-traditional marks are already being accepted as trademarks or distinguishing guises, such as: a mode of packaging, a three-dimensional shape, a positioning of a mark, a color applied to a mark, and a sound.
  • Divide the application before or after the mark has been advertised, in the Trademarks Journal.
  • Merge registrations
  • Declare more than one owner for the same application without having to specify the type of partnership between the owners.
  • File an application for a certification mark without prior use in Canada.


Some of the less advantageous changes to the new regime include:

  • The period of validity for a certificate of registration will change from 15 years to 10 years.
  • There will be government fees for each class of goods and/or services, rather than one flat fee.
  • Any existing registration with a renewal date after the changes take place will have to be modified to conform to the Nice Agreement.
  • The end of associated trademarks.


We will be staying in touch in the coming weeks to provide forthcoming information concerning the new regime.

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