As of June 17, 2019 important changes will be implemented in the legal framework of trademark registration in Canada that will modernize and simplify the processes and allow access to three international treaties: Nice Agreement, Madrid Protocol and the Singapore Treaty.
The modernization of the trademark registration process will bring important benefits, most importantly:
- The reduction of trademark registration fees for approximately 50% of the applicants, given the elimination of the final registration fees (CIPO, 2019). This fee reduction applies to applications of up to 2 classes.
- The use of the “Nice Classification” that categorizes the products and services to be protected in 45 classes. This harmonized classification system facilitates the search and comparison of trademarks on a national and international level. The official fees to file and renew marks in Canada are defined according to the number of requested classes.
- The possibility of filing a Canadian trademark registration in all member countries of the Madrid System, through one international application.
- The simplification and standardization of the trademark registration procedures through the Singapore Treaty, that among other aspects, reduces the requirements for filing applications. For example, information regarding the use of the mark will no longer be required to obtain the registration.
- The extension of the concept of a trademark, allowing the registration of “nontraditional” marks such as smells, flavors and textures.
Another relevant change to consider is the reduction in the trademark registration and renewal period. With these changes that will be implemented on June 17, 2019, the validity of trademarks that are registered or renewed after this date will be reduced from 15 to 10 years.