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Over the past three years, Canada has seen substantial changes to its legislative and IP framework and the response from local practitioners has been mixed. Canada’s joining the Madrid Protocol has prompted significant discussion, as the market has separated into two camps. One agrees and acknowledges the benefits of a streamlined process and a greater workload, while the other expresses concern over prolonged wait times. At present, the examination process sits at roughly 24 months, which is almost 10 months longer than in previous years. However, the ongoing effects of the covid-19 pandemic feed into these delays, as do the new rules concerning inherent distinctiveness that are beginning to emerge. One thing is certain, the dust is still settling and more time is required to make an accurate assessment of these changes; nevertheless, in the meantime there is a lot for Canada’s practitioners to get stuck into, especially as companies become more aware of the importance of robust brand protection. The increase in work is reflected in the WTR 1000 tables this year, with the addition of six new firms and several new practitioners.
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