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Canada welcomes sound marks with a roar

The Canadian Trademarks Office announced today that it will immediately start accepting applications for registration of sound trademarks. MGM, the producer and distributor of major motion pictures, applied to register its distinctive lion roar trademark in October 1992. After 18 years of prosecution, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) rejected the application on a technicality and the matter was appealed to the Federal Court. On March 1, 2012, Prothonotary Aronovitch issued an order that the mark be approved for advertisement. Today, the mark was advertised in the Trademarks Journal.

The recent decision aligns Canada with several other jurisdictions that accept sound trademarks. Any applications for registration of a sound trademark in Canada should:

  1. state that the application is for the registration of a sound mark;
  2. contain a drawing that graphically represents the sound;
  3. contain a description of the sound; and
  4. contain an electronic recording of the sound.

In addition, the Trademarks Office is presently requesting comments on proposed changes to the Trademarks Regulations. In particular, the Office proposes to amend section 28 of the Regulations to include the above regarding the necessary components of an application for a sound trademark. Comments will be accepted until April 23, 2012.