Process to Request that a Geographical Indication to be Entered on Canada's List of Geographical Indications

Disclaimer

The information in this notice is reproduced for convenience and should be considered as a general guide only. In the event of any inconsistency between this notice and the applicable legislation, the legislation prevails. For advice on individual cases, the requesting party is encouraged to contact their own legal advisor.

A request may be submitted to have a geographical indication (GI) entered on the list of GIs in Canada, as provided for under subsection 11.12(1) of the Trade-marks Act (“the Act”).  A geographical indication is defined in section 2 of the Act as:

an indication that identifies a wine or spirit, or an agricultural product or food of a category set out in the schedule, as originating in the territory of a WTO Member, or a region or locality of that territory, if a quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine or spirit or the agricultural product or food is essentially attributable to its geographical origin

How to Request

The request and all supporting documentation must be submitted in writing and be in either English or French or translated thereto (except for the GI itself). The requesting party may use the sample forms for wines or spirits (PDF: 56 KB; 3 pages), or agricultural products or food (PDF: 40 KB; 3 pages), but the use of this format is not compulsory so long as all the required information is provided.

The request must be submitted by or on behalf of a responsible authority for the wine, spirit, or agricultural product or food in question. A responsible authority is defined under subsection 11.11(1) of the Act as:

in relation to a wine or spirit, or an agricultural product or food of a category set out in the schedule, the person, firm or other entity that, in the Minister's opinion, is, by reason of state or commercial interest, sufficiently connected with and knowledgeable about that wine or spirit or that agricultural product or food to be a party to any proceedings under this Act.

A separate request must be made for each GI, accompanied by the fee of $450 for each request submitted. When sending payments to CIPO by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery, we recommend use of the CIPO Fee Payment Form. The fee must be received before the request will be processed and the fee will be charged regardless of the outcome of the review.

The responsible authority is responsible for providing the information required and responding to any related objections and/or questions.

Documentation submitted as part of the request will not be returned.

Requests must be sent to the following address

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Attn: Trademarks Branch
50 Victoria Street
Place du Portage, Phase I
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
K1A 0C9

Information Required for a GI Request

The particular information required in the request depends on the type of product associated with the GI: (a) wines or spirits, or (b) agricultural products or food.

Review of GI Requests

Requests will be reviewed by the Trademarks Branch of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. During the review process, the responsible authority may be required to provide additional information to support the request. Input with respect to the quality or reputation of the GI from other Canadian or foreign expert and/or governmental entities, departments or organizations may also be sought in the evaluation of the requests.

Recommendation to the Minister

When an indication meets the criteria to be entered on the list of protected GIs, CIPO will recommend that the Minister publish a statement proposing that the indication be entered on the list of geographical indications kept pursuant to subsection 11.12(1) of the Act.

Publication of Statement of the Minister

Statements from the Minister are published on the website of CIPO and will have the following information, as required under subsection 11.12(3) of the Act:

  1. (a) that the Minister proposes that the indication and, if applicable, a translation of the indication, in the case of an indication that identifies an agricultural product or food, be entered on the list;
  2. (b) in the case of an indication that identifies a wine or spirit, that the indication identifies a wine or that the indication identifies a spirit;
  3. (b.‍1) in the case of an indication that identifies an agricultural product or food, the common name of the agricultural product or food and the category set out in the schedule to which it belongs;
  4. (c) the territory, or the region or locality of a territory, in which the wine or spirit or the agricultural product or food is identified as originating;
  5. (d) the name of the responsible authority in relation to the wine or spirit or the agricultural product or food and the address of the responsible authority's principal office or place of business in Canada or, if the responsible authority has no office or place of business in Canada, the name and address in Canada of a person or firm on whom any document may be served with the same effect as if it had been served on the responsible authority itself;
  6. (e) the quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine or spirit or the agricultural product or food that, in the Minister's opinion, qualifies that indication as a geographical indication;
  7. (f) that, except in the case of an indication identifying a wine or spirit or an agricultural product or food as originating in Canada, the indication is protected by the law applicable to the territory in which the wine or spirit or the agricultural product or food is identified as originating, as well as particulars of the protection.

Objection Proceeding

In accordance with section 11.13 of the Trade-marks Act, within two months after the publication of the statement referred to above on the website of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, any interested party may, upon payment of the prescribed fee of $1,000, file a statement of objection with the Registrar of Trade-marks and serve a copy on the responsible authority in one of the manners set out in Rule 53(1) of the Trade-marks Regulations. For information on CIPO's practice in objection proceedings, please refer to the practice notice entitled Practice in Objection Proceedings under Section 11.13 of the Trade-marks Act.

For further information on the objection process, please contact:

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Attn: Trademarks Opposition Board
50 Victoria Street
Place du Portage, Phase I
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada  K1A 0C9

Telephone:  1-866-997-1936

Entry on the List

Pursuant to subsection 11.12(2) of the Act, the Registrar of Trade-marks will enter the indication on the list of GIs if:

  1. (a) no statement of objection has been filed and served on the responsible authority in accordance with subsection 11.‍13(1) and the time for the filing of a statement of objection has expired; or
  2. (b) a statement of objection has been so filed and served, but it has been withdrawn or deemed under subsection 11.‍13(6) to have been withdrawn or it has been rejected under subsection 11.‍13(7) or, if an appeal is taken, it is rejected in the final judgment given in the appeal.

Changes to Information

The responsible authority must notify the Registrar of Trade-marks of any changes to the information contained in the statement published by the Minister on CIPO's website (e.g. change of address of the responsible authority).

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