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Canada: Nice Classification for Canadian Trademarks


Lawyer Amalia Berg, Ronnie Hoffer
Area Intellectual Property


The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) advised this week that it will soon begin accepting trademark applications using the Nice Classification system for goods and services.  It is expected this will begin in the fall.  CIPO has advised that the adoption of the Nice Classification system will help businesses searching the Canadian trademarks register to find potentially confusing marks owned by competitors in their industry or field of commercial activity.  Implementation of the Nice Classification is a step in the transition from the current system, which does not include formal classification of goods and services (although classification is used informally by CIPO for indexing purposes), to the new provisions that will come into force with the accession to the Nice Agreement, the Singapore Treaty and the Madrid Protocol when Bill C-31 comes into force. Currently, accession is not expected to take place before late 2016 or early 2017. 

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