Additional Search Options

Combine queries

A search can consist of up to five criteria in the “search text” boxes in five different fields. You can do this type of search through the use of boolean operators (and, or, but not) to combine several criteria, refine a search and obtain more specific or relevant results.

The operator and ensures that both search criteria are present in the resulting documents. The operator or ensures that at least one of the search criteria is present in the resulting documents. Finally, the operator but not is used to exclude words or phrases from a query.

For example, the query “red and apple” will locate documents containing both these words in the selected field(s). The query “red or apple” will locate all documents containing at least one of these words in the selected field(s). And the query “red but not apple” will locate documents that contain the word “red” but will exclude all documents containing the word “apple” in the selected field(s).

Capital/small letters, accents and special characters

The search engine is case and accent insensitive. For example, a search for the word “ete” would find the words “été” or “ETE”.

The search engine is programmed to ignore punctuation, except for the characters &, @, $, %, ^, <, +, #, | and ~. Punctuation is replaced by a space. For example, a search for the word “on-line” would find the words “on line”, “on-line” and “On Line”. A search for “@com” would find the words “@com”, “@Com” or “@COM”.

Truncation and wildcard characters

Truncation and wildcard characters add flexibility to your searches. The search engine is designed to recognize the asterisk (*) and the question mark (?) as wildcard indicators. You can use these special characters to broaden your searches using either the multiple or single character wildcard.

Wildcards are useful for searching truncation and word stems (e.g. pharm* to retrieve pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, etc.) or variant spellings (e.g. organi?ation to retrieve organization or organisation).

Multiple character wildcard
Substitute (*) for a sequence of zero or more characters (e.g. to search for pharmacy and pharmaceutical, use “pharm*”).
Single character wildcard
Substitute (?) for a single wildcard character (e.g. “organi?ation” will match different spellings: “organization” or “organisation”).
Wildcards in multiple terms
Wildcards can be used in multiple search terms (e.g. Canad* Gov*).
Wildcards in front of characters string
Wildcards can also be used in front of a character string (e.g. *national will match different terms such as national, international). Using this search method may not perform as well as if you were searching with a character string followed by a wildcard character.

Select category of trademark

After you have entered the “search text” and “field” search criteria, select the category of mark in the “category” section. You can choose from:

“all”, which searches all of the following “categories”:

Please see the section Category of mark for more details in this regard.

Select type of trademark

This section allows you to search the different types of trademarks that can apply to an application. You may select any of these types to limit your search to only one or many types by choosing the type of mark in the “type” section. However, to conduct a thorough search, choose ALL only as your choice.

You can choose from:

All types of trademarks.
A trademark that only consists of standard typographical characters.
A trademark consisting of a word(s) and/or design(s) or a combination of both in a special form.
A trademark consisting of a sound.

Select status of trademark

Search entries specific to a current status using the “status” section. You can choose from all, all active, pending, registered, all inactive. For a general search, use the “all” status. Use “all active” to exclude abandoned and expunged marks.

The “pending” and “registered” statuses are specific and limit your search results. Please see the section Trademark status for more details.

Select one or more actions

You may restrict your search by selecting "office actions" (filed, advertised, registered or inactivated trademarks) within a specified date range. Enter the appropriate start and end dates if you are interested in a specific range and click on the button “Add date”. If you do not wish to restrict your search by selecting an “action”, select “all” from the drop-down menu.

Please note: If you modify the default date selection, you must specify an action other than “All”; otherwise, your search results will be invalid.

Adding more than one action date range

You may add more than one office action date range to your search query by selecting specific dates for a new office action and clicking on the “Add date” button.  All date range selection will be displayed in a list below the section called “Dates added to search”. 

Removing one or more action date range

To remove an office action date range previously selected, click on the “X” icon next to the selection you want to remove.

The advertised date signifies:

The registered date signifies:

Add Vienna Classification codes

The Vienna Classification codes describe figurative elements of the trademark designs. You can type the codes directly in the “Search text” boxes and select the search field “Vienna code” or type words from the Vienna codes description and select the field “Vienna codes description”.

You can also click on the section “Vienna Classification” and select the figurative elements that you want to add in your search. The figurative elements are grouped by category, division, section and auxiliary. The first step is to select the category by clicking on the drop-down list. The divisions applicable to the selection will then be made available. You must refine your search by selecting at least one of the divisions.  When a division is selected, the list of available sections appears. You can further refine your search by selecting a section and auxiliary if they are available.

Please note: If you choose not to select a specific section and auxiliary, your search will provide results for all figurative elements under the category/division. 

Adding one or more divisions/sections/auxiliaries

Select the figurative element that you want to specifically add in your search and click on the “Add” button.  You can select and add as many divisions, sections or auxiliaries as you need. You just need to click on the button “Add” to include them on the search list. 

Please note that the search engine will attach the operator “or” between each selection of division and section. When you select an auxiliary, the search engine will attach the operator “and” between the auxiliary and the section, however the section and its auxiliary will be attached to the other selections by the operator “or”.

Removing one or more divisions/sections/auxiliaries

To remove a division/section/auxiliary combination previously selected, click on the “X” icon next to the selection you want to remove.

Select the number of results to be returned

You can limit the number of hits or results that the search will produce to the maximum indicated. By default, the maximum number of results to be returned is 500. The results are ranked based on the hit count, which is the number of times individual query words or search criteria appear in the selected field(s).

A hit count equal to the maximum number selected means other relevant trademarks records may not have been picked up. To obtain all relevant records, you should increase the maximum limit or adjust your search criteria.

Display results in a list or a grid

You may choose to display your search results in a list or grid format. By default, the results will be shown in a list. From the search results section, two icons are also available to modify the display format at your ease.

When viewing the List format, the default number of entries displayed is 25.

When viewing the Grid format, the default number of entries displayed is 8.

Select the number of results per page

By default, the maximum result per list is 25. This option lets you define the maximum number of results displayed per list.

The results are ranked based on the hit count. Hit count refers to the number of times individual query words or search criteria appear in the selected field(s). You can always sort the search list by ascending or descending order for the application numbers, trademark or CIPO status.

Execute the search

Once you have entered the search criteria, use the “Search” button to execute the search. You can conduct a new search by using the “Clear” button, which will clear the search criteria and reset the default settings.

Verify results

The results or hits of your query are displayed on a new screen and may be printed using the “Print” button of your browser. Click on one of the trademark links to view the detailed trademark information (application number, registration number and date registered if applicable, current status, current owner, trademark, design of the trademark if the mark consists of or includes design features, all claims to registration, owner name and address and goods and/or services associated with the trademark).

The “Back” button of your browser allows you to return to the list of results and continue verifying results in the same manner.


When searching for a trademark for the purposes of determining whether or not a confusing trademark exists, it is recommended that you also search for phonetic equivalents, synonyms and translations into French or English of the mark that is the subject of the search.

The basic rationale or test for determining whether there is confusion between trademarks is the following: would a prospective purchaser upon seeing one trademark applied to certain goods and/or services, and seeing another trademark on similar goods/services, reasonably assume that the goods and/or services in both cases came from the same source? If the answer is yes, confusion probably exists between the two trademarks.

If the mark that you are searching is comprised of several words, it may be necessary for those words to be searched separately. The section of the Guide to trademarks entitled Words or designs that look very similar to a mark that you are now allowed to register could be of assistance in this regard.

Searching design marks is the most complex form of trademark searching. Searching design marks may be done using the Vienna Classification System. The information contained in the “trademark” and “trademark description” fields can be used to locate trademarks either consisting of or including design features. This may affect the results of keyword searches.

You can also try to use any other available information on the trademark (owner's name, goods and/or services covered, registration number) to locate it. It is recommended that you consult an experienced trademark searcher if a thorough search is required. Consequently, particular vigilance is required in this regard.

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