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The professionals at CPST are thought leaders on intellectual property issues. Check back frequently for the latest updates.
*These publications represent a general discussion of certain legal and related developments and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Handbags and Ochre and Hearts, Oh My!: A Survey of Canadian Trademark Applications for Textures, Holograms, Motions and Colours

Sarah O'Grady


In June 2019, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) began accepting applications for certain new types of non-traditional marks. We surveyed the applications filed to date for marks indexed as textures, holograms, motions, or colours per se. Our research revealed that the majority of such applications have been improperly (perhaps inadvertently) filed in these categories and/or failed to include the information and details required by CIPO.

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Know Your Role: Federal Court Considers its Jurisdiction

Antonio Turco


The Federal Court of Canada is a creature of statute and only possesses the jurisdiction that has been conferred by statute. However, many claims include subject matter both inside and outside of that jurisdiction. The question of when the Federal Court can and should accepted matters is not always easy. A couple of recent cases highlight that tension.

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Watch What You Say! Prosecution History Estoppel in Canada

Santosh K. Chari


In Canada, the use of patent prosecution history in litigation proceedings was strictly impermissible until 2018, when the Patent Act was amended. The Act now allows certain submissions made during prosecution to be introduced as evidence for construing granted claims.  This practice is now regularly invoked when patent claims are asserted and the accused infringer seeks to limit their scope.

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Tasty Trademarks: An Analysis of the Canadian Trademark Applications Covering Taste

Sarah O'Grady


A distinctive taste may enable consumers to identify a particular brand. Such tastes can now be the subject of trademark registrations in Canada.

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Tips When Using the Madrid Protocol to Register a Trademark in Canada

Anthony Prenol


Filing into Canada through the Madrid Protocol can raise unexpected issues for applicants. In this article, we highlight some of the unique issues related to prosecuting such an application in Canada.

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Cannabis Branding - Part 2: Restrictions on Promotion of Cannabis in Canada

Anthony Prenol

Sarah O'Grady


Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada in October 2018, there has been a surge of trademark applications filed in connection with cannabis-related goods and services. In the second of our two part series, we take a look at some restrictions on the promotion of cannabis in Canada .

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Cannabis Branding - Part 1: What Cannabis Companies Need to Know about Securing Trademarks in Canada

Anthony Prenol

Sarah O'Grady


Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada in October 2018, there has been a surge of trademark applications filed in connection with cannabis-related goods and services. In the first of our two part series, we take a look at some of the opportunities and challenges in protecting trademarks in the cannabis space.

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With Distinction: Addressing Distinctiveness Objections during Canadian Trademark Prosecution

Antonio Turco

Dori Walton


Objections alleging that a trademark is not inherently distinctive have become one of the most controversial aspects of the changes to Canada’s trademark law. In this article, we review what this objection means and how to consider addressing it.

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Canada’s Forever Register: Newfoundland Trademark Registrations

Antonio Turco


Canadians are at least passingly familiar with the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador has its own time zone. What is less commonly known is that Newfoundland and Labrador also has its own register of trademarks – the only province to do so. Given historical quirks, those registrations may last forever.

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Standard of Review For Appeals From The Trademarks Opposition Board in Canada

Antonio Turco

Sarah O'Grady


In December 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision which revised the standard of review for appeals from various administrative boards, including from the Trademarks Opposition Board.

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Brew Branding: Nine Intellectual Property Issues that Craft Breweries Should Consider

Sarah O'Grady


As the beer market becomes more crowded, one of the most important business considerations, aside from brewing a delicious product, is branding. We have therefore compiled a list of the top nine intellectual property issues that craft breweries should consider.

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Canada’s Official Marks – A Public Nuisance?

Anthony Prenol


Canada’s Trademarks Act, in addition to providing protection for the various categories of trademarks that are recognized around the world (such as word marks, designs, shapes of goods, etc.) also provides protection for the “official marks” of public authorities. As discussed below, official marks can create a number of problems for trademark owners who are looking to protect their marks in Canada. This article provides a summary of the official mark system and discusses some of the options available to a trademark owner who is confronted with an official mark.

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Second Kick at the Can: Post-Grant Proceedings Involving Canadian Patents

Anthony Prenol


Once a Canadian patent has issued, it can be the subject of various types of proceedings. This article will provide an overview of both proceedings that are adjudicated by the Patent Office (such as reissue and re-examination) and proceedings that are determined by the courts (such as declaratory actions in respect of infringement and validity).

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Out of the Ordinary: Requirements for Describing Goods and Services in Canadian Trademark Applications

Sarah O'Grady


One issue trademark applicant's in Canada often face is a requirement to specify the goods and services in "ordinary commercial terms". The requirement of specificity under Canadian trademark law is arguably the highest threshold of any country. Learn more about how to overcome such objections.

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You can’t do that! Federal Court quashes the “problem-solution” basis for rejecting claims

Santosh K. Chari


In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Canada declared that the policy adopted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) for determining subject matter eligibility of claims to computer-implemented inventions is improper. The CIPO’s policy served as a basis for rejecting many patent applications in Canada, so the decision is welcome news to applicants.

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Sending Cease and Desist Letters in Canada

Anthony Prenol


In Canada, it is very common for the owner of an intellectual property right to send a cease and desist letter to an alleged infringer before commencing litigation. However, there are issues a sender needs to be aware of.

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Trademark Licensing in Canada: Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn From The Hells Angels

Antonio Turco


One phrase most lawyers (and people in general) have likely never uttered is “you should be more like the Hells Angels”. However, an exception may be available when it relates to trademark licensing.

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Moving on Up: Increased Costs Awards in Canadian Patent Litigation

Anthony Prenol

Antonio Turco

Sarah O'Grady


In recent years, Canada’s Federal Court has shown a clear trend towards awarding increased costs to the successful party in patent litigation.

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Trademark Enforcement Tips and Traps: Navigating Canada’s Trademark System One Year After the Major Changes

Anthony Prenol

Antonio Turco

Sarah O'Grady

Dori Walton


On June 17, 2019, the most significant changes to Canada’s trademark system in over 60 years took effect. At the one-year anniversary of the changes, we are assessing the impact that they have had on Canadian trademark practice. We will provide some practical tips and also identify some traps in dealing with the altered trademark landscape, in this case as it relates to enforcement.

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Trademark Prosecution Tips and Traps: Navigating Canada’s Trademark System One Year After the Major Changes

Anthony Prenol

Antonio Turco

Sarah O'Grady

Dori Walton


On June 17, 2019, the most significant changes to Canada’s trademark system in over 60 years took effect. At the one-year anniversary of the changes, we are assessing the impact that they have had on Canadian trademark practice. We will provide some practical tips and also identify some traps in dealing with the altered trademark landscape, in this case, as it relates to prosecution and maintenance.

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The Scent of a Crayon: Unique Complications with Scent and Other Non-Traditional Trademarks in Canada

Sarah O'Grady


A distinctive scent may even enable consumers to identify a particular brand. Such scents can now be the subject of trademark registrations in Canada.

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Follow the Rules! Recent Changes to Canada’s Patent Procedures

Santosh K. Chari


On October 30, 2019, Canada’s Patent Rules were amended to implement changes that were made to the Patent Act. A number of these amendments require applicants to modify their approach to filing and prosecuting patent applications in Canada. Some of the more important changes are summarized here along with recommended strategies to avoid potential pitfalls.

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I'm So Tired: IP Rights Exhaustion

Antonio Turco


Like many other countries, Canada recognizes the doctrine of exhaustion of intellectual property rights (also known as the first sale doctrine). The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the doctrine of exhaustion in Canada.

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Data Protection for Innovative Drugs in Canada

Anthony Prenol


Canada, like many other countries, has a system of data protection for innovative drugs. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the data protection system in Canada and some of its nuances.

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