In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy to a more industrial and urban one. Like other First World nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of its primary sector, with the logging and petroleum industries being two of Canada's most important.
Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas, and large oil and gas resources are centred in Alberta. The immense Athabasca Oil Sands give Canada the world's second-largest oil reserves, behind Saudi Arabia. In Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Yukon, hydroelectricity is a cheap and clean source of renewable energy.
Who May Apply?
One who proposes to use the mark in Canada by itself or through a licensee. One who has used the mark in Canada. One whose country of origin is a country of the Paris Union or the WTO and who has registered the mark, or applied for registration, in or for that country, and has used the mark. One who has used the mark in a country of the Paris Union or the WTO and has made the mark well-known in Canada or the successor in title of the previous. Registration is granted to the first person to use the mark in Canada, or to make the mark well-known in Canada, or to have the earliest filing (or International Convention priority) date.
What Can Be Registered?
A trademark is registrable if it: is not a word that is primarily merely the name or the surname of an individual who is living or has died within the preceding 30 years. Whether depicted, written, or sounded, is neither clearly descriptive nor deceptively misdescriptive in the English or French languages of the character or quality of the wares or services in association with which it is used or proposed to be used or of the conditions of, or the persons employed in, their production or of their place of origin. Is not the name in any languange of any of the wares or services in connection with which it is used or proposed to be used.
What Cannot Be Registered?
The Royal Arms, Crest, or Standard; the arms or crest of any member of the Royal Family; the standard, arms, or crest of His Excellency the Governor General. Any word or symbol likely to lead to the belief that the wares or services in association with which it is used have reeived or are produced, sold, or performed under royal, vice-regal, or goernmental patronage, approval, or authority. The arms, crests, or flag adopted and used at any time by Canada or by any province or municipal corporation in Canada in respect of which the Registrar has, at the request of the Government of Canada or of the province or municipal corporation concerned, given public notice of its adoption and use. The emblem of the Red Cross on a white ground, formed by reversing the federal colors of Switzerland and retained by the Geneva Convention for the Protection of War Victims of 1949, as the emblem and distinctive sign of the Medical Servgice of armed forces and used by the Canadian Red Cross Society; or the expression "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross". The emblem of the Red Crescent on a white ground adopted for the same purpose as specified previously by a number of Muslim countires. The equivalent sign of the REd Lion and Sun used by Iran for the same purpose as specified previously. The international distinctive sign of civil defense consisting of an equilateral blue triangle on an orange background. Any territorial or civic flag, or any national, territorial, or civic arms, crest, or emblem, of a country of the Union, if the flag, arms, crest, or emblem is on a list communicated under article 6ter of the International Convention or pursuant to the WTO Agreement on TRIPs and for which notice is publicly given by the Registrar. Any official sign or hallmark indicating contgrol or warranty adopted by a country of the Paris Union, if the sign or hallmark is on a list communicated in previous paragraphs. Any national flag of a country of the Paris Union or any armorial bearing, flag, or other emblem, or any abbreviation of the name of an international intergovernmental organization, if the armorial bearing, flag, emblem, or abbreviation is on a list communicated as in previous paragraphs. Any scandalous, obscene, or immoral word or device. Any matter that may falsely suggest a connection with any living individual. The portrait or signature of any individual who is living or has died within the preceding 30 years. The words "united Naitons" or the official seal or emblem of the United Nations. Any badge, crest, emblem, or mark adopted or used by any of Her Majesty's Naval, army, or air forces, of any university, or adopted and used by any public authority in Canada as an official mark for wares or services for which the Registrar has, at the request of Her Majesty, or of the university or public authorigy, as the case may be, given public notice of its adoption and use. Any armorial bearings granted, recorded, or approved for use by a recipient pursuant to the prerogative powers of Her Majesty as exercised by the governor General for the granting of armorial bearings, if the Registrar has, at the request of the Governor General, given public notice of the grant, recording, or approval, or the name "Royal Canadian Mounted Police" or "R.C.M.P" or any other combination of letters relating to the Royal Candadian Mounted Police, or any pictorial representation of an uniformed member thereof.
No registration of a trademark will interfere with any bona fide use by a person of his own name as a trade name, or the geographic name of his place of business other than as a trademark, or an accurate description of the character or quality of his wares or services. The other party will be permitted to continue using its confusing mark in a defined territorial area if it is shown that it had been using the mark in good faith prior to registration of the registered mark.
Except for word marks, a drawing of the mark, in black and white, sizes 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches (7x7 cm). An appointment of an agent, in the rare case where it is called for by the Registrar. A claim for priority made under the International Convention, the World Trade Organization Agreement, or based on reciprocity must be included in or accompany the application, but evidence of the right to priority is not required unless called for by the REgistrar at any time before allowance. An application, signed by the applicant or his or her agent, including the address of the applicant's principal place of business in Canada, or the name and address of a Canadian representative for service, plus the following information: In the case of a trademark which the applicant or its licensee proposes to use in Canada: (a ) a list of the specific wares/goods or services for which the mark will be used. In the case of a trademark which has been used in Canada: (a) the names of all predecessors of the applicant who used the trademark in Canada (b) a list of the specific wares/goods or services in association with which the trademark has been used in Canada; and (c) the date of first use of the trademark in association with the wares/goods or services listed. If the wares or services are divided into groups, a separate date of first use of the trademark must be given for each group. In the case of a trademark which has been made known in Canada: (a) the names of all predecessors of the applicant by whom the trademark was made known in Canada; (b) a list of the specific wares or services in association with which the trademark has become well-known in Canada; (c) the name of the applicant's Paris Union or WTO country of origin in which the trademark has been used in association with the wares or services listed; (d) the earliest date at which the trademark became well-known in Canada in association with the wares or services listed. If the wares or services are divided into groups, a separate date must be given for each group; and (e) the way in which the trademark has become well-known in Canada. In the case of a trademark used abroad and covered by a registration or application in or for the applicant's Paris Union or WTO country of origin: (a) particulars of the registration or application in the country of origin; (b) a statement of wares or services as it appears in the registration or application in or for the country of origin; (c) a list of the specific wares or services in association with which the trademark has been used in some country; (d) the name of the country or countries in which the trademark has been used in association with the specific wares or services listed; and (e) a certified copy of the registration in the Paris Union or WTO country of origin must be filed together with a translation thereof into English or French, if it is in any other language, before the date of advertisement of the application.
Evaluation & Review
On the filing of an application for registration, the Registrar examines the application. If it appears that the mark is registrable, that formal requirements are met, and that the applicant is entitled to registration, the application will be approved for publication in the Trademarks Journal.
Registration remains valid for 15 years from the date of registration or the last renewal and is renewable for 15-year periods indefinitely. Renewal is possible within six months after the Registrar sends a notice of nonrenewal. If registration lapses, the registrant may immediately reapply for registration.
In order to maintain registration of a trademark, it must be in use. Marks may be expunged for nonuse pursuant to Section 45 of the Trademarks Act. In a Section 45 proceeding, the Registrar has the ability to issue a notice to a registered owner requiring them to furnish evidence showing use of the mark in Canada in the preceding three years by the owner or a licensee with respect to each of the wares (goods) or services specified in the registration. Such a notice can also be requested by any interested person. If the mark has not been in use, the registered owner must provide the date when it was last used and the season for the absence of use since that date. Extensions of time in Section 45 proceedings will only be granted if fully justified. Join requests (because of negotiations between the parties) will generally be granted. Retroactive requests for exntension of time or unusual requests for extension of time are subject to objection by the other party. "Use" with respect to wares or goods includes marking on the wares or their packaging, or in any manner associating the trademark with the wares so as to give notice to the person receiving the wares. "USe" with respect to services includes display in the performance of or advertising of such services. A registration may be amended to delete wares or services, or extended to do so. When applying for a mark based on proposed use, the applicant is required to file a declaration of use with the Trademarks Office for their mark to proceed to registration. The declaration must be filed within six months of allowance of the application. Use by a licensee will qualify as use by a licensor where a proper licensing relationship exists. IN particular, the licensor must exert sufficient care and control over the character and quality of the wares and/or services used in association with the trademark. Generally speaking, use in a slightly different form will count as use (e.g., in a different color for colored marks, etc.) However, trademark owners must be wary of the fact that any deviations in use can potentially lead to a finding of abandonment of the original mark and can render their mark vulnerable to expungement. After use of a trademark ceases, the amount of time that must pass for abandonment to occur varies on a case-by-case basis. To prove abandonment, both a period of nonuse and an intention to abandon must be established. In cases where an exceedingly long period of nonuse is found (e.g., over 10 years), abandonment may be inferred.
In Canada, registration of domain names including the .ca country code is administered by the Canadian Internet Registration Authotiy, a nonprofit Canadian corporation. CIRA sets policy for, manages, and operates the .ca domain space for registrars and registrants and handles applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no screening process involved in the registration of a .ca domain name. A .ca registrant must satisfy one of the Canadian Presence Requirements, such as citizenship, residency, ownership, location, and membership requirements, all of which require a connection to Canada. Non-Canadian parties will qualify for registration only if they own a corresponding Canadian trademark registration, and are permitted only to apply for .ca domain names that include the exact word component of the corresponding trademark registration. The CIRA Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy allows complaints to be filed to challenge .ca domain names. Disputes are governed by the CIRA Dispute Resolution Rules. A complainant trademark owner must satisfy Canadian Presence Requirements as set out in the General Registration Rules or rely on a Canadian trademark registration that is confusingly similar to the disputed domain name. If successful, the trademark owner would be required to transfer the domain name to a nominee who satisfies the Canadian Presence Requirement. The complaint procedure is designed to be relatively quick. It takes approximately 60 to 90 days to get a decision from the date a complaint is filed.
The Trademarks Act allows for an action to be brought for passing off trademark infringement and depreciation of goodwill. Actions are typically brought before the Federal Court of Canada, although in some cases it is possible to seek relief from the Provincial Courts. Unfortunately, it is difficult to obtain interim or interlocutory injunctions.