Canada Sounds Off


By Ashlee Froese of Gilbert's LLP

CanadaFashionLaw recently reported on interesting developments with regards to Canada's foray into the non-traditional trade-marks world.  Although Canada may be a late-comer to the party, it certainly is playing catch-up.  Today, the Canadian Trade-marks Office issued a Practice Notice stating that effective immediately it will accept sound mark applications.  Does anyone else have a mild case of whiplash from this quick turnaround?

So here's the 411 if your business is thinking of obtaining trade-mark protection for a sound:

  • The application must state that the application is for the registration of a sound mark;
  • The application must also include a graphic representation of the sound, along with an electronic recording and description of the sound.

The Canadian Trade-marks Office can call into question the registrability of the trade-mark with the usual suspects: functionality, clearly descriptive and/or deceptively misdescriptive.  It is possible to assert the registrability of the trade-mark by demonstrating that the sound has acquired distinctiveness. 

Interestingly, it is not possible to file a sound mark application online and, therefore, the cost will be moderately higher. 

Stay tuned to CanadaFashionLaw to see who takes the first steps. 

View more from Canada Fashion Law and @BrandFashionLaw

(C) Ashlee Froese, 2011. All rights reserved.

The contents herein are for informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you seek a professional legal opinion in the event of a legal dispute.

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