Canada is taking the final steps to align its trademark system with the rest of the world.
This is mostly great news because it will make it much easier for Canadian businesses to protect their brands internationally. It will also allow brand owners outside of Canada to specify Canada in their international trademark applications. To learn more about deficiencies of Canada’s current trademarking regime, watch our cartoon: How Can Canadian Businesses Protect their Brands Internationally.
One downside of the change is that government fees for filing trademark applications in Canada are almost certain to go up. In many cases, significantly.
Canada is joining the Nice Convention, according to which all products and services are divided into 45 categories called “classes”. There are 34 classes of products and 11 classes of services.
Currently, Canadian government fees for filing a trademark application are CAD 450 per trademark, no matter how many goods and services your trademark application covers. In most other countries, government fees are calculated on a per class basis. For example, most U.S. trademark applications cost their owners USD $275—$375 in filing fees for each class of goods and services listed in the trademark application.
So if you want to protect your trademark for potato chips, crackers, packaging, baseball caps, online retail store featuring consumer products, and cafe and restaurant services (this, by the way, is a real-life example), you’re looking at a trademark application in 6 classes. If Canada adopts a fee of CAD 300 per class, the total fees will be CAD 1,500 per application compared to CAD 450.
Canada has already modified its website to add references to classes (which caused Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s website to be down several times over the past few days).
As of today, grouping goods and services into classes is still voluntary, but we are one step away from the announcement about new, per-class, government fees, at which point class specification will become mandatory. This is now a matter of weeks before filing fees will go up.
No specifics have been disclosed as to whether the new rules and fees will affect pending trademark applications but there is a good chance that if you file your trademark applications before new rules come into effect, you will not be required to pay for each class.
This is the reason so many business owners are under pressure to file their trademark applications sooner rather than later.
And if you have a brand you have been putting off trademarking in Canada, NOW is the time.
Yes, we want you to take action, we want to agitate you to protect your brand ASAP. But we also want to take responsibility. Trademark Factory® has always been about putting our money where our mouth is.
If you choose to use our services between October 1, 2015 and the date when new fees are in effect, and the new combined filing and post-allowance fees end up to be lower than the current CAD $450 per trademark, then we will refund you the difference in government fees from our own pocket.
So order your free trademarkability report at http://freeTMsearch.com to see if your brand can be trademarked. And if we’ve already done it for you but you’ve been procrastinating whether it’s the right time to move forward with our services, give us a call at 778.869.7281.
We’ll be happy to help.
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