About the Author

  • Silvia de Sousa

    Silvia’s practice is concentrated in the area of business law with an emphasis on intellectual property law and technology law. Silvia is a trademark agent in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    (204) 934-2592

Until recently, the Canadian Trademarks Office has prevented trademark owners in obtaining a trademark for a sound mark. Most relevant jurisdictions allow sound marks like the United States and Europe. The rationale behind the Canadian Trademarks Office position was that in order to obtain a registration of a trademark it had to be able to be depicted in a drawing. As a result of a recent Federal Court of Canada decision in the Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc. case, the Canadian Trademarks Office is now required to register as a trademark in Canada the sound of a roaring lion that precedes most MGM film productions as the Court held that the sound of a roaring lion can be trademarked. This case has caused the Canadian Trademarks Office to issue a Practice Notice announcing that it is now accepting applications to register sound marks. The Practice Notice states that the application for the registration of a trademark consisting of a sound 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.
  4. contain an electronic recording of the sound.

What this means is that you are now able to legally protect the sounds associated with your brand and business. Also, this court decision may lead to the approval of other types of non-traditional trademarks like smell and holograms.

This article is presented for informational purposes only. The content does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor client relationship. The views expressed are solely the authors’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), its affiliate companies or its clients. The authors make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to via this article. The authors are not able to provide free legal advice. If you are seeking advice on specific matters, please contact Keith LaBossiere, CEO & Managing Partner at kdl@tdslaw.com, or 204.934.2587. Please be aware that any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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