Important Changes to Canadian Trademark Law – Effective June 2019

Significant changes to Canadian trademark law will come into effect on June 17, 2019.  These changes will impact businesses and individuals who own Canadian trademark registrations and pending applications, and who are considering new applications in Canada between now and then.

Beginning on June 17, 2019, trademark applicants and registrants will have to classify their goods/services according to the Nice Classification System. As a result, there will be increased government filing fees.

Currently, the government filing fee in Canada is $250 Canadian dollars, regardless of the number of classes included in an application.  As of June 17, 2019, the filing fee will be $330 CAD for the first class, and $100 CAD for each additional class.  The increased fees will be substantial for multi-class applications.

Other noteworthy changes include the term of a Canadian registration being reduced from 15 to 10 years, and the implementation of a requirement that owners of existing registrations classify their goods and services according to Nice at the time of the next renewal.

In addition, Canada will become a participant in the Madrid Protocol, a system which allows the filing of a single trademark application (through the World Intellectual Property Organization) in up to 116 countries.

Parties considering new applications in Canada should file before June 17, 2019, and owners of Canadian trademark registration should consider renewing and voluntarily classifying their registrations before June 17, 2019.