From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office
The Government continues to place emphasis on IP issues in its legislative agenda. On January 27, 2014, five key international IP treaties were tabled in Parliament which aim to harmonize and simplify procedures across multiple jurisdictions:
The Madrid Protocol offers innovators the possibility of obtaining protection for trademarks in a number of countries by filing a single international application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). An applicant seeking international trademark protection needs to file only one application, in one language, and pay a fee in one currency. This simplifies the application process and provides financial savings for local representatives seeking to obtain and maintain protection of their trademarks internationally.
The Singapore Treaty makes trademark registration systems more user-friendly and reduces business compliance costs for trademark owners. The Treaty simplifies the rules and requirements for filing applications. The information provided internationally grants member IP offices (IPOs) flexibility to decide the administrative procedures in registering a trademark. This is done while establishing a maximum set of conditions to impose on trademark applicants. The Treaty also makes it easier for applicants to obtain a filing date and may improve Canada's alignment with its major trading partners.
The Nice Agreement is a classification system used to categorize over 11,000 individual goods and services according to 45 general classes for the purpose of registering a trademark. The categories are harmonized across all member countries, making it easier to search for, and compare different marks.
Patent Law Treaty
The Patent Law Treaty (PLT) harmonizes and standardizes international procedures, and makes the submission of patent applications more user-friendly for customers. The PLT provides a maximum set of requirements that member states can ask of applicants, and streamlines the patent application process. From the perspective of inventors and businesses, the result is a reduction of red tape, lower costs, and a standardization and simplification of administrative requirements that ultimately result in a reduced risk of errors and loss of rights.
The Hague Agreement is an international industrial design (ID) application system that allows customers to apply for ID protection in multiple jurisdictions through one application. By taking advantage of the Hague Agreement, customers need only file a single application through WIPO. This reduces the cost of filing in multiple jurisdictions and multiple languages, using multiple currencies. WIPO also administers the renewal of ID registrations so customers do not have to worry about individual renewal deadlines at different IPOs. Once Canada becomes a member of the Hague system, CIPO will be able to accept international ID applications from WIPO.
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