Blog

Banner icon
Slideshow image

Blog

Banner icon

Trademarks require French chaperones in Québec

Once again the province of Québec has added to the province-specific considerations that businesses will have to assess to determine if it is worth trying to tap into the Québec market. On May 4, 2016, the Québec government published draft regulations to amend the Charter of the French Language (the “Charter”). These amendments will require the sufficient presence of French when a trademark in a language other than French is displayed on signage or posters outside a place of business. The Québec government cannot directly enforce translation of registered trademarks which may be in languages other than French, but these amendments will require businesses to add French to any outdoor signage without otherwise altering the registered trademark. Your trademarks require a French chaperone to accompany them at your place of business. The French that will be required could, for example, be a slogan or a generic term or description of the type of business being carried on. Examples of how to comply can be seen here.

With this latest amendment the cost of accessing the Québec market has just increased again, and makes one speculate as to what might be coming next. Not surprisingly, many businesses, both national and international, think twice before deciding to conduct business in or run promotional programs in the province of Québec. The overall return must certainly be assessed to determine if it outweighs the cost and inconvenience associated with ensuring that the Charter is complied with, not to mention other provincial restrictions.

The Charter affects the French language requirements for packaging and labelling; for catalogues, brochures and other commercial publications; for in-store materials and all advertising; and strives to include websites for companies that sell products or services in the province. It is also important to remember that the Consumer Protection Act in Québec is likely the strictest in the country: advertising to children under 13 is prohibited; and most contests that are run in Québec need to comply with the rules of Procedure of the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux as well as paying a levy which is a percentage of the prize value.

It is small wonder that carrying on business in Québec can appear to be a daunting challenge, but it is one that can be navigated successfully with the help of knowledgeable lawyers in the area, and can be a highly profitable endeavor when you consider that almost a quarter of our population lives Québec.

Print

 

The materials on the Maclaren Corlett LLP web site (the “Site”) have been developed as an electronic resource respecting our organization.

Any information sent to Maclaren Corlett LLP through this Site is not a confidential lawyer-client communication. No lawyer-client relationship is created by such correspondence or by you accessing the materials on this Site.

Any information sent or received over the Internet is generally not secure. Maclaren Corlett LLP cannot guarantee the security of any communication to or from the Site, nor does it assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Internet.

The Site and Content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis, without any warranty or condition of any kind, either express or implied. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU ARE USING THE SITE AND THE CONTENT, IF APPLICABLE, ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND LIABILITY.

By accessing or using the Site, you agree that all matters relating to your access or use of the Site and Content or to these Terms shall be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein excluding any conflict of laws principles.

All material on this site is copyright by Maclaren Corlett LLP and may not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes without its express written consent.

Print

Please contact us for a copy of our Privacy policy.