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CIPO Consultation: Professional Designations and their Initials

 

CIPO has issued a request for comments about a proposed practice notice dealing with professional designations and their initials. In Canada, professional designations include, for example, designations for the accounting profession: CGA, CA, and CMA; the medical profession, and professional engineers.

The thrust of the proposed practice note is that if, as a matter of first impression:

  • the trademark uses the professional designation or initials commonly associated with that designation; and
  • a typical consumer would assume the goods or services associated with the mark are produced by members of that profession

then the mark will be found to be clearly descriptive of the persons employed in producing those goods or services and therefore unregistrable.

The consultation period runs from January 29 to February 28, 2010.

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