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The various categories of marks

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office


Trademark

A sign that is used by a person to distinguish goods or services manufactured, sold, leased, hired or performed by that person from those manufactured, sold, leased, hired or performed by others.

Prohibited mark; official mark

This includes any mark protected under sub-paragraph 9(1)(n)(iii) of the Trademarks Act - any badge, crest, emblem or mark adopted and used by any public authority (an organization or body that is under some government control) in Canada as an official mark for goods or services.

Examples: the crests of crown corporations; the logos and marks of publicly funded museums

Prohibited mark; arms, crest or flag

This includes any mark protected under sub-paragraphs 9(1)(e) of the Trademarks Act - the arms, crest or flag adopted and used at any time by Canada or by any province or municipal corporation in Canada.

Examples: the Canada Coat of Arms; the Canadian flag; the flags for provinces and territories.

Certification mark

A mark that is used to distinguish goods or services of a certain standard with respect to:

  1. the character or quality of the goods or services,
  2. the working conditions under which the goods have been made or the services performed,
  3. the class of persons by whom the goods have been produced or the services performed, or
  4. the area within which the goods have been made or the services performed, from goods or services that are not of that defined standard.

Example: the Woolmark design, owned by Woolmark Americas Ltd., for use on clothing and other goods to certify that the products are made with 100% pure new wool.

Distinguishing guise

This is a type of trademark and refers to the shaping of goods or their containers, or the mode of wrapping or packaging goods the appearance of which is used by a person for the purpose of distinguishing or so as to distinguish goods or services manufactured, sold, leased, hired or performed by him from those manufactured, sold, leased, hired or performed by others. This type of mark is from the Trade-marks Act.

Example: if you manufactured a butterfly-shaped candy, you could have registered the butterfly shape as a distinguishing guise.

Prohibited mark; flag

A national flag of a country of the Union pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.2) of the Trademarks Act, a territorial or civic flag communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i) or a flag of an international intergovernmental organization communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.3) of the Trademarks Act.

Example: the flag for the World Health Organization; flag of Switzerland.

General mark

This is a trademark used in the sale of various articles in which an owner deals in his trade, business, occupation or calling generally. This type of mark is from the old Trade Mark and Design Act (TMDA).

Prohibited mark; official sign or hallmark

Any official sign or hallmark indicating control or warranty adopted by a country of the Union, communicated under article 6ter of the Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.1) of the Trade-marks Act.

Prohibited mark; armorial bearings

An armorial bearing of an international intergovernmental organization communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.3) of the Trademarks Act or any armorial bearings granted, recorded or approved for use by a recipient pursuant to the prerogative powers of Her Majesty as exercised by the Governor General in respect of the granting of armorial bearings, if the Registrar has given public notice of the grant, recording or approval pursuant to subsection 9(1)(n.1).

Prohibited mark; abbreviation of the name

An abbreviation of the name of an international intergovernmental organization communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.3) of the Trademarks Act.

Examples: World Trade Organization; World Intellectual Property Organization.

Specific mark

A trademark used in connection with the sale of a class of merchandise of a particular description. This type of mark is from the old Trade Mark and Design Act (TMDA).

Standardization mark

A trademark the use of which was intended to indicate only that the goods in association with which it was used were of a defined standard, or had been produced under defined working conditions by a defined class of persons or in a defined area. This type of mark is from the old Unfair Competition Act (UCA) and were included in the definition of a trademark.

Union label

Any mark, term, design, emblem, figure, sign, seal, stamp, diagram, ticket, device or form of advertisement adopted by a labor union. This type of mark is from the old Trade Mark and Design Act (TMDA) and no longer a category under current legislation.

Plant Breeder's Right Denomination

The name (denomination) of a plant variety granted under the Plant Breeder Rights Act.

Geographical indication

An indication that identifies a wine or spirit, or an agricultural product or food of a category set out in the Trademarks Act, 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.

Examples: Okanagan Valley; Scotch Whisky; Gouda Holland.

Mark protected by federal act of incorporation

Examples include a mark protected under either An Act to Incorporate the Canadian General Council of the Boy Scouts Association, An Act to Incorporate the Canadian Council of the Girl Guides Association or an Act to Incorporate the Canadian Nurses Association.

Mark protected by an Act Respecting the Royal Canadian Legion

Marks of the Royal Canadian Legion protected under said Act.

Prohibited mark; emblem

An emblem of an international intergovernmental organization communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i.3) of the Trademarks Act.

Prohibited mark; arms, crest or emblem

An arms, crests or emblems of a country of the Union communicated under article 6ter of the Paris Convention and publicly given by the Registrar pursuant to subsection 9(1)(i) of the Trademarks Act.

Example: the seal of the United States of America.

Prohibited mark; badge, crest, emblem or mark

his includes any mark protected under subparagraphs 9(1)(n)(i) and 9(1)(n)(ii) of the Trademarks Act. Subparagraph 9(1)(n)(i) being any badge, crest, emblem or mark adopted or used by any of Her Majesty's Forces as defined in the National Defence Act. Subparagraph 9(1)(n)(ii) being any badge, crest, emblem, or mark of any university.

Examples: the crest of a university; military regiments' arms and crests.

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