Intellectual property
June 5, 2024

Mandatory protection of trademarks in a language other than French : the countdown is on 

Did you know that June 1st, 2025 will mark a major turning point for the use of trademarks in a language other than French in Quebec?

The countdown is on, with just one year to go before Bill 96, An Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec, comes into force, imposing new restrictions on the use of non-French trademarks. As of that date, the use of trademarks exclusively in a language other than French will be prohibited on products, in public displays and in commercial advertising, unless they are registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

Trademarks appearing on product packaging and labelling, however, benefit from a significant exception, as pending trademark applications will be considered registered trademarks. However, trademarks appearing on public displays and in commercial advertising do not benefit from this same exception, and must therefore be registered in order to be used in Quebec without translation.

Thus, if you or your company use a trademark in a language other than French on your products, in public displays or in commercial advertising in Quebec, it must be registered with the CIPO in order to continue to be used without translation into French as of June 1st, 2025, subject to certain conditions. Since the trademark registration process in Canada is relatively lengthy, it is recommended – if not necessary – to take action now to protect your trademark.

If you have any questions about your trademark protection strategy or your company’s presence in Quebec, contact our intellectual property legal professionals.