Canada Opens Up to Registration of Nontraditional Trademarks

Vol. 5 No. 2


Hung Nguyen is a partner at Deeth Williams Wall LLP in Toronto, Ontario. His practice specializes on the clearance, prosecution, enforcement, and licensing of trademarks. He can be reached at Adam Lis is an associate at the same firm. He practices intellectual property and intellectual technology law with a focus on litigation. He can be reached at

Canadian trademark law has recently undergone some new developments related to the recognition of nontraditional trademarks. The most significant of these developments occurred in March 2012, when the Federal Court of Canada issued an order on consent from the Canadian Trade-marks Office (Office) requiring that the Office approve a trademark application filed by MGM for the sound of a lion’s roar. MGM’s mark was the first sound trademark approved by the Office in over 20 years. Shortly prior to MGM’s sound mark being approved, the Office proposed amendments to Canada’s Trade-mark Regulations in February 2012, which would allow for the registration of hologram, sound, and motion trademarks.

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