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Canada’s 2018 budget plan has unveiled the first aspects of the country’s national IP strategy. Although the importance of IP is much-vaunted throughout the policy statement, which also sets aside funds for a number of concrete IP initiatives, brand rights take a backseat in the highly patent-focused IP strategy announcements.
Canada’s proposed Child Health Protection Act is making its way through the country’s legislative process. Outlawing the marketing of unhealthy foods to children, it could have a significant impact on the use of food and beverage trademarks. Although the bill exempts affected trademarks from cancellation through non-use, there are fears that it will create a new class of brands deemed to be “in limbo”.
Major changes to Canada’s system of geographical indication (GI) rights come into force this week as a result of amendments to the country’s Trademarks Act. The range of goods eligible for GI rights will expand significantly, and compliance with the new protections will become more onerous. While playing to the advantage of famous regional producers, the reforms create risks and liabilities for many food businesses previously unaffected by GI rules.
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