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Oh Canada! Trademark Differences with our Northern


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Canada is a substantial market for our U.S. clients. It has a population over 35m and a GDP exceeding $1.5 trillion. Protecting a trademark in Canada is analogous to that in the United States but with some significant differences.




Federal Basis

Only if used in interstate or international commerce. However, meeting the interstate commerce threshold is fairly easy.

No state registration…only federal and this is permitted if only in a single province.

International Classes

$275 - $325 per International Class (45 classes possible).

Only pay one filing fee regardless of how many classes are involved.  Currently $250 (Canadian dollars).


Must show evidence of actual use in commerce.

Not required in Canada.

Opposition Period

One month.

Two months.


10-year terms.

15-year terms.

Evidence of Use

U.S. requires proof of continued use between years 5 and 6 and then at 10-year renewals.

No such requirement but mark can be expunged after 3 years of non-use.

Supplemental Register

Descriptive marks can be placed in this purgatory that does enjoy advantages. After five (5) years of substantially exclusive use there is a presumption the mark has acquired secondary meaning and may be eligible for protection on the Primary Register.

No supplemental registrations.

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