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Executive Summaries Oct 2, 2019

Trademarks: Now Is the Time To Be More Strategic Than Ever

It has never been “easier” to obtain a trademark registration in Canada. Indeed, since last June, it is no longer required to wait until the mark has been used in association with all of the goods and services listed in the application to obtain the registration certificate.

In addition, since June 2019, Canada can now be designated in international applications and thus, foreigners wishing to enter the North American market are spurred to protect their trademark in Canada. In only three months, nearly 4,500 foreign applications have already designated Canada, and this number will only increase.

These changes to the Canadian trademark legislative regime also create a more favourable climate for "trademark trolls", namely companies filing applications for trademarks that they do not intend to use for the sole purpose of monetizing these trademarks when another company will want to use or register one of those marks.

The current situation in Canada reinforces the notion that it is more important than ever to be strategic in protecting your trademarks in association with your goods or services, no matter whether these are targeting consumers directly or business-to-business trade (B2B).
Using your trade name without registering it as a trademark or using a trademark without registering it is becoming increasingly risky, in the general Quebec and Canadian context, and could turn out much more costly than the registration process would have been. Not to mention that expansion plans in another province, or even another city, can be seriously jeopardized.

Our trademark protection strategy team can help you identify the issues you may face and identify your priorities in terms of trademark use and registration as well as in terms of third-party trademark monitoring, while taking into account your business plan in Canada and abroad. Don't wait any longer... For the protection of your trademarks in Canada, the saying "better safe than sorry" has never been truer.

For further information, please contact our Trademarks team who will be pleased to assist you with your trademark needs in Canada.

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