Sound marks in with a roar

The first sound trademark was approved and advertised in today’s Canadian Trade-mark Journal – MGM’s roaring lion. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office announced that they will now be accepting applications for sound trademarks effective immediately.

This policy is the result of an order from the Federal Court, apparently in T-1650-10, which is an appeal from a decision of the Registrar by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Lion Corp. relating its roaring lion sound (Application No. 0714314 filed in 1995).

According to the docket, Prothonotary Aronovitch issued an order on consent on March 1, 2012 that the mark be approved for advertisement. The application was advertised in today’s Trade-mark Journal at page 2.

Earlier this year, the Trade-marks Office issued proposed amendments to the Trade-marks Regulations that included changes to allow sound marks. The consultation period on these amendments closes April 23, 2012. Ashlee Froese at Canada Fashion Law has a longer discussion of these changes as they relate to sound marks and on today’s new policy.

The roaring lion is the only mark listed as a pending sound mark. The Trade-mark Office’s listing of sound marks allows visitors to listen to the marks online.

[Update: Since writing this post, I have become aware that at least one previous sound mark was registered (TMA359318 to Capital Records in 1989, since expunged for non-renewal). Marijo Coates of Deeth Williams Wall has published a list of some of the sound marks previously filed.]