Vienna Classification Now in Use for Canadian Trademarks

Publication Date: 2003-03-19

Since March 3, 2003, CIPO is using the Vienna Classification that provides a list of symbols used to classify the figurative elements of trademarks. This classification is searchable on the Canadian Trademarks Database. The official index that is required to be kept under the supervision of the Registrar of Trademarks pursuant to subsection 28(1) of the Trade-marks Act, is now accessible in the Canadian Trademarks Database on the CIPO Internet site.

The Vienna Classification is based on the Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks. This multilateral treaty is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and entered into force in 1985.

The Vienna Classification constitutes a hierarchical system that proceeds from the general to the particular, dividing all figurative elements into 29 categories, 144 divisions and 1,634 sections. The main advantage of this classification is that figurative elements of trademarks are indexed with reference to a single classification system, thus facilitating searches.

The Vienna Classification has been established in English and French, is continuously revised and a new version is published every five years. It is presently in use in more than 30 countries, three organizations and the International Bureau of WIPO. Visit the Canadian Trademarks Database on the CIPO web site for more information on the Vienna Classification or to obtain a text version. An official version of the Vienna Classification is available from WIPO.

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