The Government of Canada has simultaneously tabled five intellectual property law treaties in Parliament to harmonize Canada’s patent, trademark and industrial design law with many of its most important trading partners around the world.
The treaties which were tabled on January 28, 2014 are the following:
- The Madrid Protocol which provides trademark owners with means of protecting their marks in multiple countries, in part by enabling applicants to file a single international application and designate those member countries in which the applicants seek protection for their marks.
- The Singapore Treaty which harmonizes certain administrative trademark registration procedures.
- The Nice Agreement which provides a comprehensive classification system for goods and services for use in registering trademarks, simplifying the application process among member countries.
- The Hague Agreement which makes it possible to obtain protection for industrial designs in a number of member countries by means of a single international application.
- The Patent Law Treaty which harmonizes several formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications and patents – such as the requirements to obtain a filing date for an application and the form and content of applications – thus aiming to make such procedures more user-friendly.
Pursuant to procedures employed in Canada’s Parliament, the Government will now observe a waiting period of at least 21 sitting days before the introduction of the necessary implementing legislation. It is expected that numerous amendments will need to be made to Canada’s intellectual property statutes to implement these treaties. Only when such implementation legislation is adopted, will the Government formally consent to be bound by these treaties.
The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property and technology law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly.