The Canadian government has recently introduced a Budget Implementation Bill, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 (Bill C-31). The Act aims to implement the following international treaties:
- The Madrid Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement, which will simplify the registration of trade-marks in multiple jurisdictions.
- The Singapore Treaty, which mostly aims to harmonize as well as simplify the administration of trademarks.
To permit Canada to eventually join the Madrid Agreement and the Singapore Treaty, there are numerous proposed amendments to the Trade-marks Act, the most notable of which include:
- A broader definition of a trade-mark, allowing registration of non-traditional trade-marks like a three-dimensional shape, a hologram, a moving image, a mode of packaging goods, a sound, a scent, a taste, a texture and the positioning of a sign.
- The adoption of the Nice Classification, which aims to harmonize the classification of goods between member countries.
- No more use requirement to obtain a trade-mark registration.
- The trade-mark registration term or renewal period will be reduced from 15 years to 10 years.
These changes are not yet law but they definitely show the Parliament’s efforts to subject the Trade-marks Actto a major spring cleaning with a view to moving towards the adoption of the Madrid Agreement. Stay tuned!