By Trish Sawhney
In June 2019, the revised Trademarks Act came into force in Canada. Among the many changes, the Act expanded the definition of a ‘trademark’ to allow for the registration of various “non-traditional” trademarks.
When we usually think of trademarks, we think of words, phrases, designs, or a combination of these elements. Non-traditional trademarks on the other hand include sounds, holograms, moving images, scents, tastes, colours per se, three-dimensional shapes, modes of packaging goods, textures, and/or the positioning of a sign. For example, Crayola Properties Inc. has filed an application in Canada to register the iconic crayon scent, describing it as “a unique scent of a pungent, aldehydic fragrance combined with the faint scent of a hydrocarbon wax and earthy clay.”
A key function of a trademark is to point consumers to a single source of goods or services. Non-traditional trademarks are incredibly advantageous in achieving this goal as entities can strategically target all five senses and use them to create a brand connection, resulting in an incredibly powerful sensory experience for consumers.
As more and more non-traditional trademarks proceed to registration in Canada, it will be essential for companies to review their portfolios to ensure all trademark avenues are covered. Now may be the time to adopt a non-traditional mark!
If you have a non-traditional trademark you wish to protect, contact us today!