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June last year saw some significant changes to the Trade-marks Act with the passing of Bill C-31, the Budget Implementation Act. These are the first major updates to the Trade-marks Act in over sixty years. This post continues our examination of the bill, by looking at registration terms.

One of the changes the Act would introduce is reducing the registration term for a trademark from 15 years to 10 years. At first glance it appears that registering your trademark right away may be better, as you will obtain the longer term. However, you may not want to be so hasty.

According to subsection 73(4) of the new Trademarks Act, even if the rights are obtained under the current Act, the term would become 10 years once the application is renewed.

For applications filed today under the current Act, if the applications are not advertised on the day on which the new Act comes into force, then according to the transitional provision (section 69.1 of the new Act), the initial term of the registration will be 10 years. However, if the application was advertised before the new Act comes into force, then according to the transitional provision (subsection 70(1) of the new Act), the initial term of the registration will be 15 years, as per the current Act. Even if you are able to obtain an initial term of 15 years, once the initial term is expired and you try to renew the term, the renewed term will become 10 years pursuant to subsection 73(4) of the new Act.

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This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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