Cannabis and Trademarks: CIPO Updates its Goods and Services Manual

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s Goods and Services Manual has recently been updated with the addition of several terms related to marijuana and cannabis in many categories.

This manual provides a representative list of descriptions for products and services that are considered acceptable (or not) in a trademark application. This allows applicants to designate the goods and services, as well as to indicate their corresponding Nice class — in accordance with the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, or “Nice Classification” for short — in order to avoid objections under paragraph 30(a) of the Trademarks Act. This paragraph provides that an application for a trademark must contain, “a statement in ordinary commercial terms of the specific goods or services in association with which the mark has been used or is proposed to be used.”

In Canada, it is possible to register a trademark for cannabis-related products and services, subject to legal restrictions. These include, among other things, any promotion that may be appealing to young people, that uses the depiction of a person, character or animal, real or fictional, or that evokes an emotion about or image of a way of life. Having a brand registered in Canada could be useful when other markets eventually open up.

The manual is available by clicking here.  

If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, we encourage you to contact any of the members of our group specializing in cannabis matters.

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