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Canada Tables New IP Treaties

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The Government of Canada is proposing five new treaties designed to harmonize our intellectual property laws and procedures with those of our significant international trading partners. The treaties, tabled January 28, 2014, are:

The Madrid Protocol, allowing trade-mark owners and applicants to register their marks in multiple countries through a single application process managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The Singapore Treaty, harmonizing administrative processes by regulating the maximum number of requests by an office and simplifying overall application processes.

The Nice Agreement, providing a classification system for products and services forming the basis for registrable trade-marks.

The Hague Agreement, broadening the acceptability for industrial design registrations in a number of member countries under a single international application.

The Patent Law Treaty, harmonizing formal procedures for patent applications, aiming to make such procedures more user-friendly.

These treaties are not yet implemented (which will require special legislation and amendments to current statutes), and we have yet to see the proposed legislation. While these treaties, if implemented, will not considerably change the rights afforded to Canadian owners of intellectual property, they will impact both the registration processes and the international scope of Canadian intellectual property protections.

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