ring the bells 

publication 

March 2012

client alert

The Canadian Intellectual Property office ("CIPO") has just announced that sound marks will now be allowed in Canada. This comes on the heels of a Federal Court order instructing CIPO to approve for advertisement the sound mark application filed by MGM for the roaring lion sound. The Federal Court specified that the application should be approved as soon as the applicant provided CIPO with the actual sound mark in .mp3, or other agreeable electronic format.

CIPO has previously rejected sound mark applications because they could not be properly graphically represented, and also because it was thought that trade-marks should be seen, not just heard, in order to function as marks. Canada now joins the United States, the UK, the European Union (Community Trademarks) and various other countries in allowing sound marks.

CIPO has stated that an application for registration of a sound mark cannot be submitted online and must include a drawing graphically representing the sound, a description of the sound and an electronic recording of the sound.

by Sharon Groom, Bachelor of Music, LL.B.

a cautionary note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2012