Canadian innovators gain IP protection, 120 countries in one shot


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Trademark regime reforms and three key trademark treaties now in force.

OTTAWA — Canadian businesses are now able to apply for trademark protection in up to 120 countries with a single application.

Canada’s accession to the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty and the Nice Agreement has come into force, protecting innovators leveraging their intellectual property abroad.

The federal government has made amendments to the Trade-marks Act and adopted new regulations. The changes will reduce filing costs, lower the administrative burden, enhance e-services, and allow for new forms of trademarks such as holograms, colour and scent.

“Accession to these treaties and the corresponding legislative changes are just the latest steps in implementing our first ever national IP Strategy,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development.


The Madrid System allows applicants to apply for trademark protection in up to 120 countries with a single application in one language and with fees paid in one currency.

The Singapore Treaty harmonizes administrative trademark registration procedures throughout member countries.

The Nice Agreement provides for the consistent classification of goods and services across multiple countries, facilitating global trademark searching.

Canada also acceded to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs in November 2018 and is working toward implementing the requirements of the Patent Law Treaty.

The government contends membership in these treaties will help attract foreign investment and facilitate international competitiveness and trade.



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