Canadian Intellectual Property legislation in line for significant overhaul

On 28 January 2014 the Canadian Government tabled five intellectual property law treaties that will harmonise Canada's patent, trade mark and industrial design law with many of its important trading partners around the world.

The WIPO administered treaties tabled are the following:-

Madrid Protocol

This treaty allows applicants to file a single international application and designate member countries in which the applicant currently seeks protection for their trade marks.

Singapore Treaty on the law of trade marks

The objective of the Singapore Treaty is to create a modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonisation of administrative trade mark registration procedures.

Nice Agreement

This agreement provides a comprehensive classification system for goods and services for use in registering trade marks. This will replace the existing Canadian classification system which does not provide for the classification of goods and services with reference to standardised classification system.

Hague Agreement

This agreement facilitates protection for industrial designs in member countries by means of a single international application.

New Zealand and Australia are not currently contracting parties to this agreement.

Patent Law Treaty

This treaty harmonises several formal procedures in respect of national and regional patent applications.

While Australia is a contracting party of this agreement, New Zealand is not.


We anticipate numerous amendments will be made to Canada’s intellectual property statutes to implement these treaties.

Once Canada's IP legislation is updated to adopt these treaties, their IP laws will be in line with most of their trading partners around the world including New Zealand and Australia. Once Canada becomes a contracting party to the above agreements, the securing of registered IP rights in Canada will be more streamline for New Zealand and Australian applicants.

Russell Law / Elena Szentivanyi - February 2014

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