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World Intellectual Property Day 2020. Innovate for A Green Future.
Managing trademarks in COVID-19 times

By: Marsha S. Cadogan (PhD, Intellectual Property), Barrister & Solicitor| MSC Intellectual Property & Technology Law What role does trademark play in differentiating products in consumer markets? If your product has acquired a good reputation…

CIPR Vol#35: Prospects and Limits of Blockchain Technologies in Global Protection of Food-based GIs

Authored by Marsha S. Cadogan, the article on blockchain technologies intersection with geographical indications is available for download from IPIC’s Canadian Intellectual Property Review webpage (published March 11, 2020). The article deals with (i) blockchain…

How Distinctive is your Non-traditional mark?

The move to make non-traditional marks registrable is gaining steady interest in many countries. However, in these jurisdictions, applicants will need to ensure that their mark is distinctive, whether by appearance, in sound, taste, or smell (where the law permits). Also, in some jurisdictions, like the EU, scent marks are not easily registrable, or may not be registrable at all

Are You Doing Business Abroad? Helpful Insights From CIPO

Author: Marsha S. Cadogan | MSC Intellectual Property & Technology Law How countries deal with intellectual property can sometimes be very different. Differences may pertain to terminologies used, the substantive law at issue, or to…

What KitKat and Rubik’s Cube have in Common

Author: Marsha S. Cadogan, MSC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Let’s talk about trademark disputes in the European Union. Is KitKat’s chocolate shape a trademark? How about the Rubik’s Cube? Not in the European Union…

International Trademark Registrations – Update

The Madrid Protocol recently celebrated a milestone – the 1.5 millionth registration of trademark on the platform (Colombian textile brand Coltejer) . In 2019, Canada was among three countries that joined the Madrid Protocol (Brazil and Malaysia were the new entrants). This is momentous. The Madrid Protocol is an international registry system that makes possible the filing of one application to effect registration in several countries. Since Canada recently ratified the treaty in its jurisdiction, Canadian entrepreneurs can now use the platform to register trademarks globally. It is important to note a few things where the Madrid Protocol is concerned:

Applicants can file a single application, pay one fee, and seek registration for their marks in more than one jurisdictions (there are 122 countries that have signed on to the Madrid Agreement, applicants can choose from those list, based on a well-thought out trademark and IP strategy – [recommended]).

It may prove to be a cost-effective and time saving way of registering international trademarks, but not all the time. Depending on the chosen jurisdiction, applicants may experience more delays than when filing a national application for trademarks. For example, in China, Madrid Protocol applications take between 12-18 months to be examined. Trademark registration certificates are not issued for marks registered under the system. Applicants will need to pay an additional fee to obtain registration certificates in China, for applicants submitted via the Madrid Protocol.

It is an administrative system. The Madrid Protocol takes care of some aspects of the administrative requirements necessary for filing trademarks abroad. It cannot deal with matters that would prevent the mark from being registered in foreign jurisdictions. Therefore, if the mark is challenged, say on grounds of similarity with another mark, or use, genericness, or obscenity, the applicant will need to seek additional legal counsel to address the matter.

International Trademark Registration is subject to the renewal and maintenance requirements in each jurisdictions. The point is that some jurisdictions may have different renewal periods, and trademark holders will need to be mindful of these dates.

For the first five years of the registration, the validity of the international registration is dependent on the home filing registration. Therefore, if during the first five years of the international registration, the Canadian registration is abandoned, or cancelled, the international registration loses its validity. In short, the mark would not be protected in the international jurisdictions where registration was granted.

The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty. However, if a country is not a member to the treaty, then the trademark registration system is not available to the national of the country. This makes sense since the treaty has no life unless it is ratified and incorporated into domestic law.

What the Lisbon Agreement means for Geographical Indications Protection

Recent news that the European Union (EU) will join the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, ( Lisbon Agreement ) on Feb. 26, 2020, has once again put a spotlight on GI designations

Blockchain & Intellectual Property: Three Intersections for 2020

2020 is bound to be a year marked with the development of greater and more sophisticated technologies. This will likely be the same narrative in the blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DTL) space. What are the most relevant relationships between intellectual property and blockchain and DTL?