When it comes to trademarks, there is currently an exemption for French-language requirements for owners of “recognized trademarks” who may display a trademark in a language other than French as long as the trademark is legally recognized as a trademark and there is no French version registered in Canada. This has applied to both public signage, commercial advertising and product packaging and labelling. Bill 96, which was introduced into the Quebec National Assembly in May of 2021, will impact your company if your company labels products specifically for the Quebec (or Canadian Market) or utilizes an international (North American) label to manage a single inventory. Bill 96 will necessitate the translation of any generic word or phrase or a description of a product included within a trademark. In addition, only those trademarks that are ‘registered’ may be used in a language other than French.
As this bill is now in the final stages of the legislative process and is expected to become law this spring, in advance of the upcoming provincial election, it will be important for companies to be prepared for changes needed to comply with the proposed changes.
For additional information on this or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.