June 13, 2019

Canada accedes to WIPO treaties

As of June 17, 2019, Canada will join the Singapore Treaty, the Madrid Protocol and the Nice Agreement. The Canadian Ambassador, Stephen de Boer, presented WIPO with the instruments of accession on March 17, 2019.

In order to allow for Canada’s accession to the aforementioned treaties, the Trademark Act and Trademark Regulations were amended in 2014. These amendments included the introduction of new types of trademarks as well as electronic filing options and the simplification of requirements for filing an application. Canada also allowed for the voluntary classification of goods and services according to the Nice Classification prior to officially joining the Nice Agreement.

As of the accession to the treaties, Canadian trademark owners will have access to more efficient means of protecting their trademarks in various jurisdictions around the world. It is hoped that this, in turn, will lower the cost of conducting business in Canada and benefit both Canadian businesses and those looking to invest in the Canadian market.

The Singapore Treaty was concluded in 2006 and entered into effect on March 16, 2009, with ten initial member states. Canada has since become the 48th contracting party, and as such will benefit from the harmonised process for filing of national or regional trademark applications. As per the treaty, Canada will allow for the filing of nontraditional marks such as three-dimensional,holographic, motion, colour, and position marks, as well as non-visible signs such as sound and scent marks.

Canada will also benefit from the Madrid Protocol, as its 104th contracting party. The protocol allows applicants to seek trademark protection in 120 territories of the 103 countries with a single application and a single fee. In addition, Canada has become the 86th state to utilise the Nice Classification.

The accession to the treaties as well as the updated legislation in Canada is set to benefit trademark applicants significantly, with the amendments allowing for a faster and more streamlined application process.


Author: Danielle Carvey