The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette

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Trademark Protection

The protection of Canadian heraldry under the Trade-marks Act

In 1993, the Governor General gave Royal Assent to an Act amending the Trade-Marks Act and several other pieces of legislation relating to intellectual property. These changes have made it possible for Canadian armigers to obtain statute protection for their armorial bearings.

These amendments make several technical adjustments to Canada's legislation in this field. The changes take into account the fact that the powers relating to heraldry and coats of arms in Canada are exercised by the Governor General. When placed in context, these new provisions can be read as follows:

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...

(n.1) any armorial bearings granted, recorded or approved for use by a recipient pursuant to the prerogative powers of Her Majesty as exercised by the Governor General in respect of the granting of armorial bearings, if the Registrar of Trade-marks has, at the request of the Governor General, given public notice of the grant, recording or approval...

(2) Nothing in this section prevents the adoption, use or registration as a trade-mark or otherwise, in connection with a business, of any mark: (a) described in subsection (1) with the consent of Her Majesty or such other person, society, authority or organization as may be considered to have been intended to be protected by this section...

Recipients of coats of arms granted or registered by the Canadian Heraldic Authority may obtain this level of protection for their arms by asking the Authority to request the Registrar of Trade-marks to publish notice of their grant or registration of armorial bearings in the Trade-marks Journal. A fee of $500 is payable.

A cheque payable to the Receiver General of Canada (Trade-marks) should accompany each request.

Date modified: October 28, 2013