David Vaver: “Towards a Distinctive Trademark Law for the 21st Century”

About the keynote

For some 60 years reforms to Canada’s Trade-marks Act of 1953 were few and far between. Major reforms then came in rush in 2014 and 2015, mainly in the form of an Anti-Counterfeiting Bill and more sweeping reforms in the Budget Bill of 2014. The reforms were partly inspired by the government’s desire to accede to international instruments such as the Singapore Trademark Treaty and the Madrid Protocol on International Registration. The amendments were rushed through with little parliamentary oversight and have sat around waiting to be proclaimed into force while subordinate legislation to fill in their gaps is being drafted. Both the process and substance of such law reform have been faulty. This paper will suggest it is time for trademark law to be rewritten in a more user-friendly way, and that it should be consciously framed as a coherent and integrated part of an intellectual property policy which fairly balances the rights of trademark owners and users in the public interest. Ways and means to achieve these goals will be suggested.

Download “Article 17 Suggested ReDraft”


About the speaker

Prof. David Vaver, CM, is Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property & Information Technology Law in the University of Oxford, and former Director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre. He founded the Intellectual Property Journal in 1984 and has written extensively on national and international intellectual property law, including Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trade-marks, 2nd ed. (Irwin Law, 2011) and editing Intellectual Property Rights: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2006, 5 volumes). A Festschrift to him appeared in 2010 edited by Dr Catherine Ng, Professor Lionel Bently & Dr Giuseppina D’Agostino, The Common Law of Intellectual Property: Essays in Honour of Professor David Vaver (Hart Publishing). In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Canada for “his leadership in intellectual property law as a scholar and mentor.”

This content has been updated on May 30, 2017 at 8:54 AM.