Commercial Use of Canadian Symbols

Use of the Coat of Arms and National Flag of Canada for commercial purposes

The Coat of Arms and National Flag of Canada are protected by the Trade-marks Act against unauthorized use for commercial purposes. Section 9 of the Act states that:

“9. (1) No person shall adopt in connection with a business, as a trade mark or otherwise, any mark consisting of, or so nearly resembling as to be likely to be mistaken for... e) the arms, crest or flag adopted and used at any time by Canada or by any province or municipal corporation in Canada in respect of which the Registrar has, at the request of the Government of Canada or of the province or municipal corporation concerned, given public notice of its adoption and use.”

Requests for permission to use the Canada Coat of Arms should be forwarded to:

Federal Identity Program

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5
Telephone:
613-369-3200
Toll-free:
1-877-636-0656
E-mail:
questions@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Requests for permission to use the National Flag of Canada should be forwarded to:

State Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols

Department of Canadian Heritage

Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5
Telephone:
819-934-5433
Fax:
819-997-8550
E-mail:
uds-uos@pch.gc.ca

Please note that a sketch of the intended use must be submitted. The turnaround time is ten (10) business days.

Use of the 11-point maple leaf

By Order in Council P.C. 1965-1623 (dated September 2, 1965), any person in Canada may use a design or trademark incorporating the maple leaf that forms part of the flag of Canada on the condition that:

  • the use of the design or trademark conforms to good taste;
  • an applicant for the registration of such design or trademark disclaims, in his or her application, the right to the exclusive use of the maple leaf; and
  • the owner of such design or trademark will not attempt to prevent anyone else from using the maple leaf.

The Canada wordmark

The “Canada” wordmark is the global identifier of the Government of Canada and is protected under the Trade-marks Act.

For more information, contact:

Federal Identity Program

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5
Telephone:
613-369-3200
Toll-free:
1-877-636-0656
E-mail:
questions@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Use of Canadian symbols abroad within a foreign trademark

Under article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Stockholm text, 1967):

“(1)(a) The countries of the Union agree to refuse or to invalidate the registration, and to prohibit by appropriate measures the use, without authorization by the competent authorities, either as trademarks or as elements of trademarks, of armorial bearings, flags, and other State emblems, of the countries of the Union, official signs and hallmarks indicating control and warranty adopted by them, and any imitation from a heraldic point of view.”

“(9) The countries of the Union undertake to prohibit the unauthorized use in trade of the State armorial bearings of the other countries of the Union when the use is of such a nature as to be misleading as to the origin of the goods.”

Pursuant to paragraph 3 of article 6ter Canada has notified the World Intellectual Property Organization of its wish to protect the Canadian flag, coat of arms and 11-point  maple leaf emblems .

Requests should be forwarded to:

Intellectual Property, Trade Policy Division (TMI)

Global Affairs Canada

125 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2
E-mail:
protectedsymbols-symbolesproteges@international.gc.ca

Note that a sketch of the intended use must be submitted. The turnaround time is ten (10) business days.

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