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On September 14, 2015 the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) made another step towards its eventual goal of international harmonization of the Canadian trademark and industrial design regimes. It announced that it has made all Canadian trademark and industrial design information available to the Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market (“OHIM”), which is the trademark and design registry for the internal market of the European Union.

Moreover, CIPO has made this Canadian data available to both the TMview and Designview collaborative search engines, which contain trademark and design data from applications and registrations filed in more than 30 international jurisdictions.

In a related development, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (“SIPO”) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) have joined CIPO in making their respective countries’ design data available to the Designview search engine.

From a practical perspective, this development provides Canadians with yet another freely available tool for searching prospective trademarks and designs in their language of choice. This will result in the selection and international clearance of intellectual property rights in a more timely and cost-effective manner.

In short, a single search of a prospective trademark in TMview will provide results of potentially confusing trademarks that have been filed in the largest economic jurisdictions worldwide.

Given the global scope of many Canadian businesses, and Canada’s ongoing implementation of the international Madrid protocol for trademarks and Hague Agreement for industrial designs, this development represents a positive step towards streamlining and modernizing the Canadian intellectual property regime. It empowers both domestic practitioners and intellectual property rights owners.

More details about CIPO’s announcement can be found here.

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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