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  • Philippe Bazinet

US v. Canadian Trademarks


In this article, you will learn about the major differences and some similarities of trademarks in Canada vs. Trademarks in the United States.

In general, the rules and laws surrounding trademarks in Canada and the United States are similar. In both countries, your trademark will protect your image, your name, or your logo from being used by another company.

Before we go further, it is important to mention, that having a trademark in one of the two countries does not guarantee that it will be available in the other. Before filling out all the paperwork it is essential to make sure that the mark you want to trademark will be available and that it is not already used by someone else.

So what are the main differences and similarities that you need to be aware of? Here are several facts that are interesting to know when you want to register for a trade-mark in Canada.

1. First of all, the vocabulary used in Canada and the one used in the United States is a little bit different. In Canada ‘’Trademark’’ is spelled ‘’Trade-mark’’ and ‘’Goods’’ are defined as ‘’Wares.’’

2. The opposition period in Canada is two months compared to the 30 days in the US.

3. Canada and the United States are both part of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This means that if a Canadian applicant files its trademark application in the United States within six months of its Canadian application’s filing date, the filing date of the US application will be the same as the Canadian’s application’s filing date. The same thing is also true for an American applicant that files for a trademark in Canada.

4. In the United State, when you apply for a trademark you need to have evidence of use. Which means that you need to be able to prove that the product you want to trademark is being "used in commerce". In Canada, you do not need any evidence of use when you are filling for trademark registration and at renewal. It is important to note, though, that if your registration is challenged, you will need to provide evidence of use.

5. In Canada, there is no difference between a “Service-Mark’’ and a ‘’Trademark.’’

6. In Canada, surnames and descriptive marks cannot be registered.

7. In Canada, the classification system is different than the one in the U.S. In the U.S the fee you will pay will vary based on the number of classes you are registering in. In Canada, the price will be the same regardless of the number of classes.


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