On Monday, PONS IP participated together with the Canadian Embassy, Caixabank and ESADE, in the meeting ‘Business Opportunities in Canada following the signing of CETA’, a conference to highlight the possibilities the free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union opens to Spanish companies. The firm’s general director, Nuria Marcos, analyzed the industrial and intellectual property situation in Canada, where a law that harmonizes important aspects of its trademark system will also enter into force next June.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) implies the recognition in Canada of several international treaties that will facilitate the European companies’ activity within the country. This will positively affect their intellectual property management, since patents, designs and other PII figures can be extended into this country more rapidly and simply. The Treaty does not include a specific regulation on Trademarks, although in the heat of the agreement a specific act was passed that introduces the Madrid system in Canada, i.e. the same system of trademarks classification that is already used throughout the EU. In the words of Nuria Marcos, harmonization ‘will bring about a reduction in the cost for protecting distinctive signs, greater speed and a much simpler procedure.’ So far, the free-trade agreement has already had a positive impact on Spanish companies, as 28 Spanish Designations of Origin have recently been recognized in the North American country.
On the other hand, the Canadian Commercial Attaché in Spain, Fernando Goñi, stressed that CETA ‘has eliminated 96% of duties’ among the agreement signatories, opening new business opportunities for European companies in an innovative country such as Canada. He also recalled that Canada is particularly strong in the software and new technologies, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and intelligent food industries. In this sense, the commercial attaché highlighted the opportunity that Canada represents as a platform to approach the commercial strategy in North America.