Trade-mark and industrial design policy

Trade-mark policy establishes the rules across Canada by which trade-mark owners have the exclusive right to use a word, symbol, logo, design or a combination of these, in order to distinguish the goods or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace. Rights begin as soon as the mark is used in the course of trade.

The Trade-marks Act regulates the adoption and use of trade-marks in the marketplace and outlines the procedures for trade-mark registration. Types of trade-marks protected by the Act include certification marks, sound marks and three-dimensional marks. The Trade-marks Act also provides protection for geographical indications, defined as indications identifying a wine or a spirit as having a quality, reputation or other characteristic essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

Industrial design policy establishes the rules across Canada by which industrial design owners have the exclusive right to use the visual features of objects, such as the shape, configuration, pattern or ornament that are not purely functional.

The Industrial Design Act regulates the registration of industrial designs in the marketplace and outlines the procedures for industrial design registration. To be registrable, an industrial design must have features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or a combination of these) that, in a finished article, appeal to the eye.

Further information

For further information about trade-marks and industrial design, see:

Trade-mark and industrial design policy is the responsibility of the Copyright and Trade-mark Policy Directorate, which is part of the Marketplace Framework Policy Branch.

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