The Canadian Government tabled 5 intellectual law Treaties in the House of Commons on January 27, 2014. The purpose of this action is for Canada to harmonize its trademark, patent and industrial design laws with those of many other countries.
The Treaties tabled are as follows:
- the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid”),
- the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (“Singapore”),
- the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (“Nice”),
- the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (“Hague”), and
- the Patent Law Treaty (“PLT”).
The first three Treaties in particular will have significant impacts on the procedures for trademark applications and registrations in Canada. The tabling of these Treaties is the first procedural step towards their ratification and implementation by the Government of Canada. Implementation will require amendments to Canada’s existing IP legislation, which could take a long time to be approved. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office published a paper in January of 2012 on the changes required to the Trade-marks Act in order for Canada to adhere to the Madrid Protocol. Until such amendments are approved by the Canadian Parliament, none of these Treaties will be binding in Canada.