Clearly descriptive trade-marks in Canada land owners in hot water


Descriptive trade-marks are not registrable in Canada: the Canadian Trade-marks Act prohibits

applicants from registering marks that are “clearly” descriptive of the character or quality of the

products or services that are associated with those marks. The policy behind the law is that it’s

unfair for a registrant to monopolize a clearly descriptive term: competitors should be able to use

the same term to describe their products and services.

By Chris Bennett, Davis LLP,

Originally published in the Lawyers Weekly, May 2, 2008

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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