Trade-mark policy establishes the rules across Canada by which trade-mark owners have the exclusive right to use a word, symbol, logo, design or a combination of these, in order to distinguish the goods or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace. Rights begin as soon as the mark is used in the course of trade.
The Trade-marks Act regulates the adoption and use of trade-marks in the marketplace and outlines the procedures for trade-mark registration. Types of trade-marks protected by the Act include certification marks, sound marks and three-dimensional marks. The Trade-marks Act also provides protection for geographical indications, defined as indications identifying a wine or a spirit as having a quality, reputation or other characteristic essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
Amendments to Intellectual Property Laws
The Government of Canada is proposing to make targeted changes to the Trade-marks Act and other related intellectual property laws to discourage certain behaviours that hinder innovation and to enhance clarity in the IP regime, thereby ensuring a more level playing field for all market participants.
- Frequently asked questions: Legislative Amendments to the Trade-mark Act
- Frequently asked questions: College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents
- Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2
For further information about trade-marks, see:
- the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada section on Agri-Food Trade Policy;
- the Global Affairs Canada section on Trade Negotiations and Agreements;
- the website of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office;
- the websites of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.
Trade-mark policy is the responsibility of the Copyright and Trade-mark Policy Directorate, which is part of the Marketplace Framework Policy Branch.