After a four-year wait, Canada’s new trademark legislation and regulations will become effective June 17, 2019.

Between now and then, it is the time to ensure that all of your trademarks have been properly protected through applications, before third parties will be able to register your brands without any requirement to show use in order to obtain a registration. It is also the time to file applications without the new per-class filing fees.

The number of applications pending in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with claims for cannabis or cannabis-related goods or services is staggering. These applications may be filed on the basis of “proposed use,” meaning the applicant has not yet used the mark with the applied-for goods or services as of the filing date. Particularly under the current regime, filing proposed use applications or use applications is important on many levels. Importantly, an amendment to the Trade-mark Act includes removing the requirement that a trademark be used in commerce before a registration will issue. This change will likely give rise to speculators and trolls. Regardless, getting in line now than under the amended law is recommended and a best international trademark portfolio protection strategy.

If you own any Canadian trademark or service mark registrations which are due for renewal in 2019 or 2020, it would be beneficial to renew them now in order to avoid the new higher government renewal fees.

If you have any questions about the new law or the best steps to take now, please let us know.