Published July 3, 2024

New York, New York—July 2, 2024—The International Trademark Association (INTA) respects the provincial government of Quebec and their representation of the will of their people to further protect the erosion of the French language through amendments to the Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business under the Charter of the French Language, which were released on June 26, 2024.  

However, the global trademark community remains concerned about many parts of the regulation. On behalf of its members around the world, INTA will remain highly engaged over the months ahead before final adoption this time next year, expressing the impact this regulation will have on intellectual property (IP) rights, free trade, and regulatory burdens that impact commerce.  

“IP represents creative expression, consumer familiarity, and trust in the marketplace of goods and services. Regulations that compromise those principles dilute commerce and will lead to higher compliance costs that will likely be passed on to consumers in an already high inflationary environment. We look forward to working with officials in Quebec to find common ground,said INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo. 

INTA formed an international coalition after the National Assembly of Quebec passed Bill 96 and has been tracking these changes through our discussions. The group comprises brand owners and other stakeholders throughout many different industries and sectors, and the association continually seeks the coalition’s input on how these regulations will affect their company operations and ability to do business in Quebec.  

INTA has also been highly involved in communicating many of these concerns to the Quebec government, the Canadian government, and the United States government because the regulations may run afoul of Canada’s national trademark law and the nation’s obligations under World Trade Organization treaties and free trade agreements. 

Over the next year, INTA will continue to analyze these rules affecting inscriptions on products, signage, and translations and continue to voice them at the highest levels. During this time, we anticipate a number of legal challenges could arise, including the possibility of trade sanctions imposed by the US government and other countries. There is a growing chorus of economic impact concerns relating to higher costs, which may lead to companies limiting their operations or even pulling out of the province entirely, which could have significant adverse effects on the Quebec consumer.       

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