The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) is now sending courtesy letters inviting trademark owners to group and class their goods or services under the Nice Classification at the time of renewal. Courtesy letters are being sent in anticipation of changes to the Trade-marks Act, now scheduled to take place in 2019.
This request to assign the proper Nice Classification is done on a voluntary basis. It is an administrative formality that has no legal value and does not affect the scope of protection of a registered trademark. However, the classification data will be reflected on the Trademarks database, for information and searching purposes.
Given the absence of legal value and the challenges faced by CIPO in assigning the proper classification even in cases where the information is submitted by trademark owners, deferring compliance seems the way to go for the time being but there may be instances where the situation dictates otherwise.
Trademark owners should consider renewing their registrations early since in addition to requiring compliance with the Nice Classification, CIPO will be adopting a fee-class based system at the time of renewal and the reduction of the term of registration from 15 years to 10 years. Contact us if you wish to discuss this further!
If you have any questions please call 613-232-5300 to speak to a professional or email us at OwnWhatsYours@aventum.law.