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How Long Does it Take to Register a Trademark in Canada?

Create Time 2019-08-01 04:08    Views:324

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The time it takes to register a trademark varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In the UK it could take nine months. In China, the processing time is gradually shortening as new guidelines are put into place. Unfortunately, Canada lags behind and is one of the longest trademark processes out there. Canadian trademark registration can take over 18 months, and that’s without any hitches. (Fact: it’s the examination period’s fault.) We are going to break down all the trademark registration timings you, as an applicant, need to know from start to finish.

Trademark Search and Application

This is the part of the process that you have total control over. The search, if done solo, will take as long as it takes. The same goes for filling out your application. It really comes down to your knowledge and preparedness. At Witmart, we can complete and submit your filing in as little as three days.

Once your application is submitted you will be assigned a filing date. If you applied online your filing date will be issued seven business days from filing, and if you submitted a paper filing your filing date will be issued 20 days from filing.

Canada Trademark Registration Examination

This is where the process flow slows to a trickle. Due to a lack of examiners in proportion to the amount of filings, it takes an incredible amount of time for someone to look over your report. Currently, it takes about 15 to 18 months from your filing date for an examiner to review your trademark and send you either an examiner’s report or a notice of approval. Yes, you read that correctly. 


So, if you’re getting antsy waiting to hear what’s happening with your filing and you’re sure that your application has been lost or bumped back . . . it’s not. It’s just sitting in backlog mountain. CIPO is currently looking for and training new trademark examiners but it is difficult to predict when this slow-as-molasses schedule will pick up.

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Canada Trademark Registration Examiner’s Report

The process is long enough without running into trouble. Trouble can come in the form of a mistake or need for clarification in your trademark application, or that your chosen trademark is indistinctive or impermissible, or that it is too similar to a pre-existing trademark (a situation which can be avoided by doing a proper trademark search).

If the trademark examiner finds any of these issues in your filing, you will be issued an examiner’s report which will lay out the problems with your application.

You have six months to respond to an examiner’s report, either to make the appropriate changes or to clarify for the examiner why no issue exists with your trademark. Extensions of time are permitted in certain circumstances.

If the examiner should ultimately reject your trademark, you have the opportunity to appeal that decision. These court cases can take an undetermined amount of time to be resolved, adding years to your registration process.

Canada Trademark Publication in the Trademarks Journal

Once, hopefully, you have received a notice of approval, your trademark will be published in the Trademark Journal for two months.


In this time, other companies who feel that your trademark poses a risk of confusion and infringes with their own can oppose your trademark. It is unpredictable how long these proceedings take (most likely a very long time). 

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Canadian Trademark Registration Certification

If you face no opposition or your opposition is defeated, you will be sent a certificate of registration within 20 days of approval and your trademark will be entered into the Register of Trademarks.

Trademark registration in Canada is overlong and arduous; and the recent changes to Canadian trademark law, while no doubt helpful in the long run, are contributing to the paper jam as the CIPO adjusts. Current examiners need to be trained in new procedures and standards. New examiners need to be hired and trained. Until the CIPO is equipped to meet demand, we can expect things to stay slow for a long time.

That’s why it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Why wait 18 months, years down the road, when you can start now and therefore finish before the turn of the century? Our efficient team at Witmart is ready to help. Visit our website to book your free consultation today.


Disclaimer: This website is not intended to offer legal advice or to be a substitute for a consultation on a case-by-case basis with an attorney. The information provided above is meant for informational purposes only and may be subject to change.


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