Sounds about right

April 2nd, 2012 by

This week the Canadian Trade-Marks Office announced that effective immediately it will begin to accept applications for sound-based trade-marks.

This decision stems from a recent Federal Court decision overturning the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)’s refusal to register MGM’s famous “lion’s roar” sound as a trade-mark.

Traditionally, it has been a requirement that trade-marks be easily represented visually, either as a word, phrase or logo.  While the Trade-Marks Office will still require an application for a sound mark to include “a drawing that graphically represents the sound” (e.g. as a waveform depiction of the sound), this decision may open the door for CIPO to allow other non-traditional trade-marks in the future, such as moving images, holograms, scents, tastes and textures.

For the time being, new applications for sound marks may only be submitted by way of a paper application, and must include a recording of the sound mark in MP3 or WAVE format, limited to 5 megabytes in size, and recorded on a CD or a DVD.

For more information on registering traditional or non-traditional trade-marks, contact Cory Schneider.

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