Trademarks and Brands

Changes Coming to Canadian Trademark Law in 2019

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 16 July, 2018

As we hit the halfway mark in 2018, it's a good time to note that sweeping changes to Canada's trademark law are expected to come into force early in 2019. Amendments to the "Trade-marks Act" include:

  • A date of first use will no longer be required.
  • The definition of a trademark will be broadened to include nontraditional items like smells, tastes, textures, and moving images.
  • Dividing trademark applications will be permitted.
  • A Declaration of Use will no longer be required.
  • The registration term will be change from 15 years to 10 years.
  • Canada will become a member of the Madrid Protocol and adopt the Nice Classification of goods and services.
  • Third party correspondence (i.e, Letters of Protest) will be permitted during prosecution. 
  • The government registration fee will be eliminated.
  • Registration fees for every classification will be introduced. 
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Topics: trademarks, Canada

ISPs Win UK Case on Website Blocking Costs

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 3 July, 2018

The UK Supreme Court ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) no longer have to pay the cost of blocking websites that breach trademarks. The court's unanimous ruling, against French luxury goods maker Cartier means that companies that want to enforce blocks against, for example, companies that sell counterfeit goods, must now pay "reasonable costs" to ISPs.

Calling the ruling "a potential landmark win," Mobile News notes that the ruling raises questions in the legal community about whether the same principle could apply to illegal downloads of copyrighted music.

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Topics: trademarks, counterfeits

6 Key Features of a Comprehensive Trademark Search Report

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 2 July, 2018

When you're clearing trademarks, you need a truly complete picture of potential showstoppers or other problems. This is particularly true in the case of the USPTO, where trademark requirements must adhere to exacting standards in order to ensure a smooth application process.

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Topics: trademarks, trademark clearance, trademark search

Monster Energy Loses Trademark Case in Singapore

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 29 June, 2018

US-based energy drink maker Monster Energy Company (MEC) failed in a bid to stop Chinese investment company Tencent Holdings Limited from registering a trademark for Monster Castle in Singapore. Monster Castle is a "tower defense game" made by video gamemaker Sixjoy Hong Kong Limited. Tencent filed a trademark application in Singapore for the game's name in 2015.

MEC has eight registered trademarks in Singapore in Classes 9, 41, and 42, which include scientific, nautical, and digital media products; education, entertainment and sporting activities services; and scientific, technological services, and software and hardware design.

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Topics: trademarks, names

Centuries-old British Shipping Icon Subject of Trademark Dispute

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 14 June, 2018

Have you ever heard of the Plimsoll Line? If you aren't part of the world of shipping, you might be more familiar with the name "Plimsoll" used for a type of shoe (more on that later…)

The Plimsoll Line refers to the small circular image that appears on the hulls of ships around the world. The image — a painted circle bisected with a long horizontal line — is a marking that's designed to show whether a ship is overloaded. When the horizontal line is visible, the ship isn't at risk of sinking. If the line is not visible, well, there might be a problem.

The Plimsoll Line was devised by Samuel Plimsoll, an English politician and social reformer, who fought for merchant shipping regulation. Plimsoll's namesake load-marking image became mandatory on British ships when the United Kingdom Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 took effect. The Plimsoll Line later became standard worldwide.

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Topics: trademarks, trademark infringement

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