It has been announced that changes to the Trademarks Act will come into force on June 17, 2019. Here are some of the most significant changes to be aware of that might affect you and your business:
Currently, Canadian trademark law requires that a trademark has actually been used by the trademark applicant, either by claiming a date in their trademark application that they first used the trademark, or by filing a Declaration of Use based on the proposed use of a trademark. Under the current system, a trademark cannot be registered until the mark is being used in Canada.
The new laws, however, eliminate this requirement. Effective June 17, 2019, people wishing to apply for trademark registration will have the ability to obtain registration, regardless of whether or not they use or ever intend to use that mark.
Under the new laws, if you can demonstrate prior use of your trademark, then you may be able to thwart another person’s application, or to nullify their registration. However, doing so means keeping actively aware of trademark applications that are filed.
There are a number of changes that will take effect in respect of fees. For one, the base filing fee for a trademark application will increase from $250 to $330. Moreover, under the new laws, that fee will cover only one class of goods or services being applied for. Beyond that, there will be an additional fee of $100 for each extra class application.
Furthermore, fees in respect of trademark renewals will be increased from the current $350 charge (online renewals) up to $400 as the new base renewal fee. In addition, the new laws will impose fees of $125 for each additional class for which the trademark is being renewed.
In addition to the fee changes that will apply to renewals, the term for which you can renew your trademark will be reduced to 10 years, rather than the 15 years that are given under the current laws. Our existing trademark laws allow for early renewals. This will be changed under the new legislation, which will impose a restriction that renewal fees may only be paid within six months in advance of the renewal date.
Above is only a small selection of the new laws. For more information, you may visit the Government of Canada’s website.
The incoming changes will have a major impact on existing trademark law in Canada.
If you have a business name that you wish to protect with a trademark, or if you have a registered trademark that you wish to renew, contact Dennis Peterson (Registered Trademark Agent) at 604.484.3095 or [email protected]