IP roadmap – Your path through a geographical indication objection proceeding

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1 – Filing a statement of objection (objector)

To start an objection proceeding, the objector must file a statement of objection with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) that includes the following:

  • the reasons, in detail, for their objection to the entry of the geographical indication (GI) on the list

The statement of objection must rely on at least 1 of the grounds set out in subsection 11.13(2) of the Trademarks Act.

  • the objector's address in Canada (or their address abroad and the name and address of a person or a firm in Canada for the service of documents)
  • payment of the prescribed fee

The objector must file a statement of objection within 2 months after the publication of the statement from the Minister in the Trademarks Journal proposing that the GI be entered on the list.

The objector must also serve the statement of objection on the GI's responsible authority.

Who is a GI's responsible authority?

The responsible authority is the owner of the GI.

2 – Counter statement (responsible authority)

Within 2 months of receiving the statement of objection, the responsible authority must file a counter statement and serve a copy on the objector. Otherwise, the GI will not be entered on the list. The counter statement can simply state that the responsible authority intends to respond to the objection.

What does it mean to "serve a copy"?

"Serving" is a special way of sending documents to the other party. For information on how to serve your documents, please see section 81 of the Trademarks Regulations.

3 – Evidence (objector)

Within 4 months of receiving the counter statement, the objector must submit evidence supporting the statement of objection and serve a copy on the responsible authority. The evidence must be in the form of an affidavit or a statutory declaration.

The objector can choose not to submit evidence, in which case they must submit a statement to that effect and serve it on the responsible authority.

4 – Evidence (responsible authority)

Within 4 months of receiving the objector's evidence (or statement), the responsible authority must submit evidence (or a statement that they do not wish to submit evidence) and serve a copy on the objector.

5 – Reply evidence (objector)

Within 1 month of receiving the responsible authority's evidence (or statement), the objector may submit more evidence (if any) and serve a copy on the responsible authority.

Cross-examinations

After a party submits evidence, the other party may request the cross-examination under oath of any person who testified in an affidavit or declaration. This must be done before the notice for written representations is sent to the parties.

6 – Notice for written representations (CIPO)

CIPO will give the parties notice that they may submit and serve written representations.

7 – Written representations (objector)

The objector has 2 months from the date of the notice to submit written representations and serve a copy on the responsible authority.

The objector may choose not to submit written representations, in which case a statement that no representations will be submitted is optional. However, if the objector submits a statement, a copy must be served on the responsible authority.

8 – Written representations (responsible authority)

The responsible authority must submit their written representations and serve a copy on the objector within 2 months of the earlier of:

  • the date of service of the objector's written representations (or statement)
  • the expiry of the objector's deadline to submit and serve written representations

The responsible authority may choose not to submit written representations, in which case a statement that no representations will be submitted is optional. However, if the responsible authority submits a statement, a copy must be served on the objector.

9 – Hearing (objector and/or responsible authority)

Either party may request an oral hearing within 1 month of the earlier of:

  • the date of service of the responsible authority's written representations (or statement)
  • the responsible authority's deadline to submit and serve written representations

Is an oral hearing required?

No, an oral hearing is not necessary. If neither party requests an oral hearing, CIPO will issue a written decision without holding a hearing.

10 – Decision (CIPO)

CIPO will issue a written decision in accordance with its service standards. All decisions are published on CIPO's website and are appealable to the Federal Court.


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Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Department of Industry, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Department of Industry is identified as the source institution; and that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, or as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Department of Industry.

For permission to reproduce the information in this publication for commercial purposes, please fill out the Application for Crown Copyright Clearance or contact the ISED Citizen Services Centre mentioned above.

Ⓒ Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Industry,

2021

Aussi offert en français sous le titre Feuille de route de la PI – La marche à suivre pour s'opposer à une indication géographique.