Toblerone, one of my favourite chocolates, is a great example of protecting a brand with trademark registration.
Registered Trademark Rights
In Canada, TOBLERONE has been a registered word mark since 1931, that’s over 90 years of registered trademark rights!
Toblerone has also registered the distinctive features of their chocolate bar that they have become known for. The unique shape of Toblerone chocolate (e.g. triangular tread design) has been a registered distinguishing guise in Canada since 1969. As well, the shape of their packaging, a triangular prism, is also protected in Canada as a distinguishing guise since 1988.
What is a distinguishing guise?
Distinguishing guise was a term used for a mark relating to the distinctive shape of goods or the unique mode of wrapping/packaging goods. Since the 2019 Canadian Trademark Act amendments, the term distinguishing guise is no longer used. Now when registering the shape of your product or features of packaging you would indicate that your trademark application is for a three-dimensional shape or a mode of packaging goods. There can be additional requirements when attempting to register these non-traditional marks, including for example filing additional evidence showing that the mark is distinctive as of the filing date.
Have you protected all aspects of your branding with registered trademarks? Contact Sander Law to get started.
The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.