On March 28, 2014, the Federal Government of Canada tabled a new Bill, C-31, which has long been anticipated by Trademark practitioners in Canada. It is expected that the trademark provisions of the Bill will ultimately become law in Canada. A summary of Bill C-31:
- The type of registrable trademarks has been widened to include sound, scent, taste and texture which may require evidence of distinctiveness at the date of filing.
- The renewal fee for registered trademarks will be shortened from 15 to 10 years.
- The ability to seek expungement of trademarks on the basis of non-use during the last 3 years can now be instituted by the Trademark Office and not just by an interested third party.
- Canada will implement International Treaties:
- Madrid Protocol - This treaty paves the way for greater flexibility to file in multiple jurisdictions.
- Singapore Treaty – Divisional applications will be allowed for (1) those goods/services which are contentious and holding up a potential registration or (2) applications on the basis of proposed use where particular goods/services have yet to be used.
- Nice Agreement - This agreement ensures that its signatories follow a harmonized system of classification of goods/services.