On June 1, 2022, Québec’s Bill 96 became law. While most of the amendments will come into force at a later date, some significant changes came into force immediately on June 1, 2022. As a result, most businesses operating in Québec will have to adjust their practices to ensure compliance with the new requirements.
How may this affect your business?
Notable changes brought by Bill 96 include narrowing the recognized trademark exception (that applies to registered and unregistered marks) to only apply to registered trademarks on product packaging. Even if your non-French mark is registered, any generic or descriptive portions included in your registration will have to appear in French elsewhere on the product permanently affixed to it. Other changes include a prohibition on making available commercial publications, invoices, receipts, and other documents in another language unless the French translation is unavailable.
Businesses will have three years to comply, and these requirements come into force on June 1, 2025. Fines will be imposed for non-compliance ranging from $700 to $7000 (for individuals) and $3000 to $30,000 (for companies).
For additional information on this or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.