29 November 2018Trademarks

INTA and CIPO step up trademark collaboration

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has partnered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to cooperate further and enhance protection in the trademark field.

Tish Berard, president of INTA, and Johanne Bélisle, commissioner of patents, registrar of trademarks, and CEO of CIPO, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, November 28.

INTA has similar agreements with more than a dozen IP offices globally, including those in Brazil, China, Italy, Korea, Macedonia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam, and with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

According to INTA’s release, the MoU “takes into account the value of IP and the need for IP protection for the purposes of economic, social, and cultural development, and in the promotion of innovation”.

The MoU also represents the signatories’ desire to continue developing cooperation between government and the private sector to bolster the trademark system and support the economy.

Finally, the MoU recognises the role of harmonisation in regional IP systems.
INTA and CIPO have collaborated on a number of initiatives in the past, involving the sharing of information and resources.

They also consulted on CIPO’s legislative agenda, which includes Canada’s accession to the Singapore, Madrid, and Nice treaties in 2019.

Under the MoU, future areas of collaboration including the exchange of experiences and educational materials of mutual interest, and the development of programmes and projects intended to improve trademark systems.

They may also organise training seminars for trademark examiners and programmes for brand owners that facilitate public-private sector dialogue.

On CIPO, Berard said: “We greatly appreciate your office’s openness to stakeholders’ input and willingness to engage collaboratively with us. We now look forward to deepening this relationship in the areas of focus outlined in this MoU to help foster economic growth and consumer protection.”

And Bélisle commented: “Our new MoU proposes a number of new initiatives with INTA in important areas, including a speakers’ series and activities focused on improving the quality and timeliness of IP rights, awareness building and stakeholder engagement with the broader trademark community.

She added that the collaboration supports the Canadian government’s IP Strategy, “and is another excellent example of our efforts on the world stage to advance the innovation and skills plan, helping position Canada as a global innovation centre”.

As part of the IP Strategy, the Canadian government has pledged to invest CA $85.3 million (US $66.6 million) to help businesses, creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators better understand, protect, and access their IP.

Earlier this year, Bélisle talked to WIPR about her priorities for CIPO and the importance of offering a quality service.

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