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Game changer: Canada overhauls key intellectual property statutes

Author(s): May Cheng, Vincent M. de Grandpré, Nathaniel Lipkus, Donna White

Dec 13, 2019

In 2019, Canada finally made good on its promises to modernize its intellectual property (IP) rights registration system, bringing into force key amendments to the Trademarks Act, the Patent Act and their respective regulations. The laudable goal of these changes is to further harmonize Canadian and foreign IP prosecution practice and fulfil the government’s objective to make investing in Canadian IP as competitive and frictionless as possible. The next step is for the Canadian government to implement an ambitious experimental IP strategy.

Overhaul of the Trademarks Act and Regulations

In June 2019, myriad legislative amendments came into force, together with significant practice changes at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Many of these changes had been anticipated for some time as they stem from the implementation of three important trademark treaties, first announced in 2014: (1) the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning International Registration of Marks; (2) the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks; and (3) the Nice Agreement Concerning International Classification of Goods and Services. Key changes include...