The Canada Trademarks Dataset

18 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (Forthcoming)

St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-0012

64 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021 Last revised: 21 Jun 2021

See all articles by Jeremy N. Sheff

Jeremy N. Sheff

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: February 9, 2021


This article discloses and describes a new research dataset representing the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s historical archive of trademark applications. This individual-application-level dataset includes all applications since approximately 1980, and many preserved applications and registrations dating back to the beginning of Canada’s trademark registry in 1865, totaling over 1.6 million application records. It includes comprehensive bibliographic and lifecycle data; trademark characteristics; goods and services claims; identification of applicants, attorneys, and other interested parties (including address data); detailed prosecution history event data; and data on application, registration, and use claims in countries other than Canada. Both the dataset and the code used to build and analyze it are presented for public use on open-access terms. This article uses the dataset to generate novel descriptive analyses of the performance of Canada’s trademark registration system and the behavior of applicants for registration, both independently and in comparison to the United States and Australia. These analyses suggest that Canada’s trademark registration system is substantially underperforming other nations with respect to efficiency of examination, and that recent statutory and regulatory changes in Canadian trademark law may have the effect of masking or even exacerbating this underperformance while decreasing the reliability of the Canadian trademark registry as an authoritative guide to trademarks used in Canadian commerce.

The dataset repository is available at:

Keywords: Trademark, Intellectual Property, Data Analysis, Canada, Empirical Legal Studies, Organizational Economics

JEL Classification: Y10, K00

Suggested Citation

Sheff, Jeremy N., The Canada Trademarks Dataset (February 9, 2021). 18 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (Forthcoming), St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-0012, Available at SSRN: or

Jeremy N. Sheff (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-5504 (Phone)

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