Cassan Maclean
Intellectual Property | Barristers, solicitors, patent and trademark agents



Protection for Geographical Indications extended to agricultural products and food.

September 21, 2017 sees the coming into force of legislative changes to the Trade-marks Act brought about by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (“CETA”). These legislative changes extend the list of geographical indications (“GIs”) beyond the current scope of wines and spirits to include any agricultural product or food.

GIs are words or symbols that identify a wine, spirit, agricultural product or food that originates in the territory of a WTO Member and for which a quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine, spirit, agricultural product or foods is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.

Once a GI is entered on the list kept under the supervision of the Registrar of Trademarks, its adoption and use in association with wines, spirits, agricultural products or food not originating, produced or manufactured in the territory indicated by the GI, is generally prohibited.

The legislative changes include a batch of pre-cleared indications entered on the list of protected GIs, featuring such well-known indications as Prosciutto di Parma, Roquefort and Parmigiano Reggiano, with the possibility of others being fast-tracked onto the list through their addition to Annex 20-A of the CETA.  New GIs not eligible for fast tracking will have to go through a process for approval by the designated Minister which will include a process by which third parties can object to their entry on the list.  Parties that miss the two-month objection period can request the removal of the GI from the list by way of application to the Federal Court.

For further information, please contact Christopher Dejardin at Cassan Maclean.




Chris Dejardin