After stumbling near the finish line, Canada and the EU were finally able to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on October 30, 2016. Bill C-30 (the CETA Implementation Act) was tabled the following day, on October 31, 2016.
CETA brings significant changes to Canada’s trademark and patent laws. On the trademark front, the most significant change is the recognition of geographic indications that extend beyond wines and spirits, to cover agricultural products and foods.
Once these changes are in effect, the use and registration of words that are protected as a geographic indicator (GI) will be prohibited. A common example would be Parmigiano Reggiano. There are certain exceptions that will permit the continued use of words like “Feta” and “Asiago”, if they were used for an extended 10 year period.
For further information, please contact Paula Clancy.