A trademark can be a word, a symbol or a design that is used in the marketplace to distinguish the products and services of one business from those of other businesses.
Anyone who has a business, product or service.
A company’s name often functions as its most important trademark. Your trademarks, which may include your company name and/or other brands, are assets that link your company to your products and services in the minds of your customers. A trademark registration secures your right to use your mark in markets you have not yet entered; it gives you the exclusive legal right to use your mark across Canada.Your company has invested time and resources into its trademarks, through brand development, purchasing the domain, printing collateral and promoting your products and services.IMPORTANT: If a third party registers your mark before you do, they may be able to prevent your continued use. At a minimum, your company will face an expensive legal dispute.Registering your company name or brand at the Trademarks Office can deter others from choosing a similar trademark if they perform a search of the database during the trademark selection process.Once you have registered your trademark, the Trademarks Office should refuse any other applications for registration of similar marks that might be confusing with yours. If the Office is in doubt, they will send you/your representative for service a notice of the pending application, giving you the option to oppose the application.If you have a Canadian trademark application or registration you do not have to translate your trademark for sales of your goods or services in Quebec.A trademark registration makes it much easier to license your products or services. If you are looking for investors or would like to sell your business, a question often asked by suitors is “have you registered your trademarks”?
A trademark registration not only increases the value of your mark, but you’re your business as well; A trademark registration can be used as a security interest.
Protect your investment – Coca Cola’s trademarks are estimated to be worth in the tens of billions!
A Trademark Agent is a person who specializes in the practise of trademark law, who, pursuant to Section 21 of the Trademark Regulations, has worked in the field of trademarks for at least 24 months and, if not a lawyer, has also passed qualifying examinations.The Canadian Trademarks Office “highly recommend(s) that an owner hire a registered trade-mark agent to act on their behalf”. Preparing and prosecuting a trademark application can be a complex task, even more so if a third party challenges your right to the mark. An experienced and competent Agent can save an owner problems caused by an improperly prepared application.
Using the ™ symbol demonstrates to others that you are using the word, name or logo as a trademark and are therefore establishing common law rights in your brand. The ™ symbol can be added to your website and other collateral before applying for formal trademark protection. Quick, add it onto your website right now!
The ® symbol represents registered trademark rights and should only be used once a mark has been registered.
Trademarks that are used in the marketplace, but are not registered, do acquire common law trademark rights. However, these rights are restricted to the geographical area where your trademark has developed a reputation. Therefore, you may have rights in Toronto but not in Ottawa. Registering your trademark gives you the exclusive right to use it with your products and services across Canada.
Owning a company name or domain name does not automatically give you the right to stop others from using similar words, names or logos. The purpose of a trademark registration is to grant exclusive rights to a mark, and to protect consumers from being confused between brands in the marketplace.
Trademark registrations are geographically based. In other words, owning a Canadian trademark registration does not give you protection in the United States. When selecting where to protect your marks, begin with your primary market. We handle international applications and are happy to provide estimated costs for any desired jurisdiction.
A trademark search will let you know if anyone else is currently using the brand, or has applied for protection of the brand, that you wish to select and/or register.Clearing a mark prior to selection will prevent your company from emotionally and financially investing in a name that is not available for use and will also help to prevent you from infringing on another companies trademark.If you do not conduct a trademark search and there is already a registered trademark that is similar to yours, your mark may be refused by the Trademarks Office. This may result in you being forced to abandon your trademark and possibly paying the other party damages. In addition, you will have to re-brand and begin the registration process again; setting you back 6 to 12 months and requiring you to pay another filing fee.A trademark search can save you considerable time and money.
There are two main types of trademark searches:Common Law – This type of search will help to determine if another company is already using the mark you wish to use or register. The search report includes a collection of research from sources such as the internet, domain search sites and corporate databases.Registrability – This type of search will help to determine if any problematic marks exist before the Canadian Trademark Office. A registrability search will reveal whether your mark (or one that is confusingly similar to it) has been applied for or registered.
The cost of registering a trademark in Canada is usually less than $2500 (it can be as little as $1900). The cost is typically spread over the 12 to 16 months it takes to secure the registration. We are happy to provide estimates for any desired jurisdiction.