Use of Government of Canada Symbols Abroad

Article 6ter of the 1967 Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property establishes an obligation by governments to protect the flags, symbols and emblems of States that are Parties to the Paris Convention (referred to herein as the "Members of the Paris Union").

Pursuant to Article 6ter, Canada has communicated a total of 16 symbols (The full list of which is found on the WIPO 6ter database) to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), including:

  • The Arms of Canada;
  • The design of the National Flag of Canada;
  • The 11-point Maple Leaf;
  • The Flag Symbol;
  • The Canada Wordmark;
  • The Government of Canada Signature.

Requests for use of Government of Canada symbols outside of Canada should be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (see "Contact Point" section below for details). Applicants wishing to use the national flag should be aware of the guidelines on commercial use of the national flag of Canada set out by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Applicants should also review the Canadian Heritage commercial use of symbols website and the Competition Bureau’s website on "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" claims prior to submitting an application.

Application Guidelines

Applicants should provide the following information:

  • A sketch of intended use of the Government of Canada symbol;
  • A description of the intended use of the Government of Canada symbol;
  • Information regarding the legal entity submitting an application, including the extent of its operations in Canada;
  • Information regarding the origin of the product or service in association to which the symbol will be used;
  • A disclaimer that the symbol will not be used in a way that would give a false impression that a product or service could be associated with or endorsed by the Government of Canada;
  • The list of the countries in which the symbol will be used;

In the case of the use of Government of Canada symbols as part of foreign designs or trade-marks, applicants should also provide the following information:

  • Whether the design or trade-mark is registered elsewhere;
  • A disclaimer of the right to the exclusive use of the maple leaf;
  • A disclaimer that the owner of such design or trade-mark will not attempt to prevent anyone else from using the maple leaf.

For the use of Government of Canada symbols in Canada, please refer to the Department of Canadian Heritage’s website.

Related Links

Contact Point

Intellectual Property Trade Policy Divison (TMI)
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2
Tel.: 613-944-2028
Fax: 613-944-0066