March 26, 2019

Canada joins the Madrid System

On 17 March 2019, Canada became the 104th member of the Madrid System, bringing the total number of countries to 120. It has also joined the Nice Agreement and the Singapore Treaty.

These three treaties will enter into force three months after the official date of accession, i.e. 17 June, 2019. These treaties promote the worldwide use of trademarks for goods and services, which is a stimulus for brand owners and consumers.

From that date, brand owners in Canada can begin using the Madrid System to protect their marks in the 120 territories of the System’s member states by filing a single international application and paying a single fee. This is a simple designation procedure by which foreign companies and trademark owners who choose to sell their products and services in Canada can apply for trademark protection.

The Madrid System is a key element of protecting trademarks internationally, offering a simple processing at a significantly lower cost to trademark owners worldwide.

Canada has also joined the Nice Agreement, becoming the 86th contracting party. This agreement establishes a unified classification of goods and services for the registration of trademarks, known as the Nice Classification.

In compliance with this Treaty, the trademark offices of member states must indicate, in official documents and publications corresponding to each registration, the numbers of the classes of the Classification to which the goods or services to be registered belong.

Finally, on the same date, Canada joined the Singapore Treaty which harmonizes the administrative procedures for the registration of trademarks among its members.  After Canada’s accession, there are 48 contracting parties.

It must be pointed out that it is the first international instrument dealing with trademark law to explicitly recognize non-traditional trademarks, such as holograms, three-dimensional trademarks, olfactory trademarks, position, movement or sound trademarks.

It is therefore very good news for trademark owners that one of the world’s largest economies has finally been incorporated into the Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks.