Chiming in: Sound trademarks now registrable in Canada

March 28, 2012


[Above feature image by photosteve101 ( under Creative Commons licence:]

Effective today, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is finally accepting applications to register sound trademarks. Here’s an excerpt of the CIPO practice notice on what is required for a sound trademark application:

a. state that the application is for the registration of a sound mark;
b. contain a drawing that graphically represents the sound;
c. contain a description of the sound; and
d. contain an electronic recording of the sound.

On (b), we should eventually get more clarification on what kinds of graphical representations of the sound are acceptable, especially sounds marks that can’t be represented by musical notes (this is, if sound marks that can’t be represented by musical notations can be registered at all). Unfortunately, CIPO’s system is not setup to handle electronic filings of sound trademarks, so for the time being, these applications will have to be paper filed, and thus, the filing fee will be $50 more than in the case of an electronically-filed application.

On that note (pun intended) just for fun, I searched the USPTO for some well-known sound marks and came across a registration for Intel’s famous chime. The description for the chime is: “The mark consists of a five tone audio progression of the notes D Flat, D Flat, G Flat, D Flat, and A Flat.” If you have a piano at home, give it a try, or give it a go with this virtual online piano. Then compare it to the audio in the below YouTube video. Enjoy.