Trademarks: Essential Differences Exist Between Canada and the United States

Franchising World

May 31, 2012

Canada and the United States have similar systems for registering and protecting trademarks, but important differences exist that might pose a trap for the unwary.  Franchisors on one side of the 49th parallel who are considering expanding to the other side should be aware of the differences, both to avoid pitfalls and to be able to communicate with trademark advisors.

This article reviews the similarities and the essential differences, which include:

  • federal registrations
  • classes
  • basis ofapplication
  • use of the trademark
  • opposition period
  • term and renewal
  • evidence of use
  • licensing
  • name style
  • supplemental register
  • divided applications, and
  • service marks.

The article originally appeared in the May 2012 edition of Franchising World, published by the International Franchising Association (IFA). It has since been reprinted on Country Index.