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Draft Regulations to Bill 96 clarify upcoming changes to language laws in Quebec

Following the enactment of Bill 96 in Quebec in June 2022, there has been uncertainty surrounding many of the provisions relating to the new French language requirements for the use of trademarks on products and signage.

Quebec has now released draft regulations addressing some of the concerns with Bill 96. Likely the most significant change is that the regulations define registered trademarks in the case of products (but not for signage) to include pending trademarks. Bill 96 provides an exception by which registered trademarks can appear on products in a language other than French (except where there is a registered French version). Expansion of the definition of registered trademarks to include pending trademarks will make it easier for product manufacturers to fall under this exception.

Other important clarifications for products include that “product” comprises the product’s container, wrapping and accompanying documents, and that French translations of generic/descriptive terms within a trademark must have equal prominence as the non-French generic/descriptive terms.

Click here to read the full draft regulations, click here to read Bill 96, and click here to read our previous discussion of Bill 96.

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