Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Trademarks Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. T-13)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2019-06-20 and last amended on 2019-06-18. Previous Versions

Geographical Indications (continued)

Marginal note:Powers of Governor in Council

 The Governor in Council may, by order, amend the schedule by adding or deleting a category of agricultural product or food.

  • 2017, c. 6, s. 67

Registrable Trademarks

Marginal note:When trademark registrable

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a trademark is registrable if it is not

    • (a) a word that is primarily merely the name or the surname of an individual who is living or has died within the preceding thirty years;

    • (b) whether depicted, written or sounded, either clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive in the English or French language of the character or quality of the goods 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;

    • (c) the name in any language of any of the goods or services in connection with which it is used or proposed to be used;

    • (d) confusing with a registered trademark;

    • (e) a sign or combination of signs whose adoption is prohibited by section 9 or 10;

    • (f) a denomination the adoption of which is prohibited by section 10.1;

    • (g) in whole or in part a protected geographical indication identifying a wine, where the trademark is to be registered in association with a wine not originating in a territory indicated by the geographical indication;

    • (h) in whole or in part a protected geographical indication identifying a spirit, where the trademark is to be registered in association with a spirit not originating in a territory indicated by the geographical indication;

    • (h.1) in whole or in part a protected geographical indication, and the trademark is to be registered in association with an agricultural product or food — belonging to the same category, as set out in the schedule, as the agricultural product or food identified by the protected geographical indication — not originating in a territory indicated by the geographical indication; and

    • (i) subject to subsection 3(3) and paragraph 3(4)(a) of the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, a mark the adoption of which is prohibited by subsection 3(1) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Utilitarian function

    (2) A trademark is not registrable if, in relation to the goods or services in association with which it is used or proposed to be used, its features are dictated primarily by a utilitarian function.

  • Marginal note:Registrable if distinctive

    (3) A trademark that is not registrable by reason of paragraph (1)(a) or (b) is registrable if it is distinctive at the filing date of an application for its registration, determined without taking into account subsection 34(1), having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the length of time during which it has been used.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 12
  • 1990, c. 20, s. 81
  • 1993, c. 15, s. 59(F)
  • 1994, c. 47, s. 193
  • 2007, c. 25, s. 14
  • 2014, c. 20, ss. 326, 361(E), c. 32, ss. 15(F), 53
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 68
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 231

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 327]

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 328]

Marginal note:Registration of confusing trademarks

 Despite section 12, confusing trademarks are registrable if the applicant is the owner of all of the confusing trademarks.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 15
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 328

Persons Entitled to Registration of Trademarks

Marginal note:Entitlement to registration

  •  (1) Any applicant who has filed an application in accordance with subsection 30(2) for the registration of a registrable trademark is entitled, subject to section 38, to secure its registration in respect of the goods or services specified in the application, unless at the filing date of the application or the date of first use of the trademark in Canada, whichever is earlier, it was confusing with

    • (a) a trademark that had been previously used in Canada or made known in Canada by any other person;

    • (b) a trademark in respect of which an application for registration had been previously filed in Canada by any other person; or

    • (c) a trade name that had been previously used in Canada by any other person.

  • Marginal note:Pending application

    (2) The right of an applicant to secure registration of a registrable trademark is not affected by the previous filing of an application for registration of a confusing trademark by another person, unless the application for registration of the confusing trademark was pending on the day on which the applicant’s application is advertised under subsection 37(1).

  • Marginal note:Previous use or making known

    (3) The right of an applicant to secure registration of a registrable trademark is not affected by the previous use or making known of a confusing trademark or trade name by another person, if the confusing trademark or trade name was abandoned on the day on which the applicant’s application is advertised under subsection 37(1).

  • (4) [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 330]

  • (5) [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 330]

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 16
  • 1994, c. 47, s. 195
  • 2014, c. 20, ss. 330, 361(E), 362(E), c. 32, s. 53

Validity and Effect of Registration

Marginal note:Effect of registration in relation to previous use, etc.

  •  (1) No application for registration of a trademark that has been advertised in accordance with section 37 shall be refused and no registration of a trademark shall be expunged or amended or held invalid on the ground of any previous use or making known of a confusing trademark or trade name by a person other than the applicant for that registration or his predecessor in title, except at the instance of that other person or his successor in title, and the burden lies on that other person or his successor to establish that he had not abandoned the confusing trademark or trade name at the date of advertisement of the applicant’s application.

  • Marginal note:When registration incontestable

    (2) In proceedings commenced after the expiration of five years from the date of registration of a trademark or from July 1, 1954, whichever is the later, no registration shall be expunged or amended or held invalid on the ground of the previous use or making known referred to in subsection (1), unless it is established that the person who adopted the registered trademark in Canada did so with knowledge of that previous use or making known.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 17
  • 2014, c. 20, ss. 361(E), 362(E), c. 32, s. 56(F)

Marginal note:When registration invalid

  •  (1) The registration of a trademark is invalid if

    • (a) the trademark was not registrable at the date of registration;

    • (b) the trademark is not distinctive at the time proceedings bringing the validity of the registration into question are commenced;

    • (c) the trademark has been abandoned;

    • (d) subject to section 17, the applicant for registration was not the person entitled to secure the registration; or

    • (e) the application for registration was filed in bad faith.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) No registration of a trademark that had been so used in Canada by the registrant or his predecessor in title as to have become distinctive at the date of registration shall be held invalid merely on the ground that evidence of the distinctiveness was not submitted to the competent authority or tribunal before the grant of the registration.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 18
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 361(E), c. 32, s. 19
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 218

Marginal note:Not to limit art or industry

 The registration of a trademark may be expunged by the Federal Court on the application of any person interested if the Court decides that the registration is likely to unreasonably limit the development of any art or industry.

  • 2014, c. 20, s. 331

Marginal note:Rights conferred by registration

 Subject to sections 21, 32 and 67, the registration of a trademark in respect of any goods or services, unless shown to be invalid, gives to the owner of the trademark the exclusive right to the use throughout Canada of the trademark in respect of those goods or services.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 19
  • 1993, c. 15, s. 60
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 361(E), c. 32, s. 53

Marginal note:Infringement

  •  (1) The right of the owner of a registered trademark to its exclusive use is deemed to be infringed by any person who is not entitled to its use under this Act and who

    • (a) sells, distributes or advertises any goods or services in association with a confusing trademark or trade name;

    • (b) manufactures, causes to be manufactured, possesses, imports, exports or attempts to export any goods in association with a confusing trademark or trade name, for the purpose of their sale or distribution;

    • (c) sells, offers for sale or distributes any label or packaging, in any form, bearing a trademark or trade name, if

      • (i) the person knows or ought to know that the label or packaging is intended to be associated with goods or services that are not those of the owner of the registered trademark, and

      • (ii) the sale, distribution or advertisement of the goods or services in association with the label or packaging would be a sale, distribution or advertisement in association with a confusing trademark or trade name; or

    • (d) manufactures, causes to be manufactured, possesses, imports, exports or attempts to export any label or packaging, in any form, bearing a trademark or trade name, for the purpose of its sale or distribution or for the purpose of the sale, distribution or advertisement of goods or services in association with it, if

      • (i) the person knows or ought to know that the label or packaging is intended to be associated with goods or services that are not those of the owner of the registered trademark, and

      • (ii) the sale, distribution or advertisement of the goods or services in association with the label or packaging would be a sale, distribution or advertisement in association with a confusing trademark or trade name.

  • Marginal note:Exception — bona fide use

    (1.1) The registration of a trademark does not prevent a person from making, in a manner that is not likely to have the effect of depreciating the value of the goodwill attaching to the trademark,

    • (a) any bona fide use of his or her personal name as a trade name; or

    • (b) any bona fide use, other than as a trademark, of the geographical name of his or her place of business or of any accurate description of the character or quality of his or her goods or services.

  • Marginal note:Exception — utilitarian feature

    (1.2) The registration of a trademark does not prevent a person from using any utilitarian feature embodied in the trademark.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) The registration of a trademark does not prevent a person from making any use of any of the indications mentioned in subsection 11.18(3) in association with a wine, any of the indications mentioned in subsection 11.18(4) in association with a spirit or any of the indications mentioned in subsection 11.18(4.1) in association with an agricultural product or food.

  • R.S., 1985, c. T-13, s. 20
  • 1994, c. 47, s. 196
  • 2014, c. 20, ss. 361(E), 362(E), c. 32, ss. 22, 56(F)
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 69
 
Date modified: