With the legalization of cannabis for recreation in Canada, the cannabis market is racing to keep up and protect their brands. A quick search of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) trademark database shows over 500 trademark applications pending for the proposed use of cannabis or cannabis-related goods and/or service.
As there are limited variations of, for example, CANN- or CANNA-, it is understandable that cannabis businesses feel the ‘register-rush’. In addition, trademark applications take over a year or more to register, creating uncertainty.
With the bulk of applications being filed at the same time, it is anticipated that there will be conflicts coming to light. Conflicts stem from CIPO’s review of the applications for likelihood of confusion with previously filed trademarks.
A positive development is that CIPO has updated its Goods and Services Manual to include more examples of acceptable descriptions relating to marijuana and cannabis. This will hopefully permit applicants to avoid objections during examination. Some examples of what is currently accepted within CIPO’s Goods and Services Manual are:
Please press here for a link to the Goods and Services Manual and here for the recent notice relating to cannabis goods issued by CIPO.
Article by Nathalie Siah.