As of late March 2012, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is accepting sound-based trademark applications.
This policy change follows a 20 year battle with CIPO and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios to trademark its famous lion’s roar. In the past, CIPO took the position that sounds could not be trademarked, while other jurisdictions around the world allowed sounds to be protected in similar fashion to names and logos.
In order to protect a sound, the application must include a visual representation of the sound, such as a waveform, a description of the sound, and an electronic recording. This application does not apply to longer sounds since they are protected by copyright. However, this change does allow other non-traditional trademarks, such as holograms and scents, to eventually be protected as well.