Canadian brand owners should prepare now for fee increases coming into force in 2024. Overall, fees are set to increase by 20 to 35%. In particular, the government fee for filing a Canadian trademark application is increasing to $460 for the first class and $140 for each additional class (the current fees are $350 and $105, respectively). The renewal fee is increasing to $555 for the first class and $175 for each additional class (up from $420 and $130, respectively). The fees to record assignments and other transfers of title are increasing to $125 per application/registration (up from the current rate of $100).
Canadian trademark fees have not been raised substantially in 20 years, and the fee increase is to go in part to hire and train new examiners. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office reports that over 100 new examiners have already been hired and it is hoped that these measures will over time accelerate the examination process. Presently it can take up to over three years for an application to be examined in Canada.
Where yearly budgets allow, brand owners interested in filing new Canadian trademark applications, particularly those covering multiple classes, should aim to file those before the end of the year. They should also seek to renew trademark registrations that are due for renewal in the first half of 2024 and consider recording any title changes that have not yet been sought, particularly where large portfolios are concerned (note that there is no government fee to record a change of name or address, and a fee is payable only to record an assignment or other title transfer).
In my next post, I will discuss changes to the Quebec Charter of the French Language that will take effect in June 2025. Those changes will in part require that brand owners display a French version of any unregistered English trademark – and an application for that French mark will no longer be sufficient. This is all the more reason for brand owners to review their portfolios and file applications now for marks for which registration will be required in the near future.