Last week, the federal government introduced significant changes to the Trade-marks Act by tabling the omnibus budget bill, Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 on March 28, 2014. The “monster” Bill makes changes to nearly forty different pieces of legislation, and is designed to enact measures in last month’s federal budget. The trademark amendments will allow Canada to meet its international treaty obligations (including the Nice Agreement, Singapore Treaty, and the Madrid Protocol). According to the government summary, the proposed changes make the Trade-marks Act consistent with the Singapore Treaty, add authority to carry the Madrid Protocol into effect, and simplify the trademark application filing requirements.
Last week the government authorized the Department of Foreign Affairs to take the actions necessary to bring into force for Canada, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and the World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The coming into force of the treaties will affect the entry into force of several sections of the Copyright Modernization Act from 2012.
A proposed “Statement” limiting the scope of equitable remuneration under s.19 of the Copyright Act for countries that do not offer a reciprocal right, was published in the Canada Gazette. This will update a similar statement from 1999 for changes to domestic laws and countries which have acceded to the Rome Convention.