Are you thinking of registering a trademark for some aspect of your Canadian business? There is no doubt that the process takes time and resources, however, over time a trademark comes to stand for your company’s reputation and goodwill.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a mark that distinguishes your company’s goods or services from others in the marketplace. It can be a unique combination of letters, words, or designs.
In Canada, a trademark is either a ‘wordmark’ composed of a word or words, or a ‘design mark’ which is composed of a design with or without words, or in a few rare cases, a ‘distinguishing guise’. A trademark in Canada may be a name, logo, slogan, or design.
Trademark vs Trade Name
In Canada, trademarks and trade names are quite different. A trade name is the official legal name of your business. Essentially, a trade name (“business name” or “corporate name”) is used to distinguish a business, while a trademark (“brand name”) is used to distinguish goods and services.
Thus, a business name makes your business identifiable. Just like how a name provides a unique identity for each individual, a business name provides a specific identity to every organization. However, registration of a business name does not guarantee protection. A trade name can be registered under the Trademarks Act only if it is also used as a trademark; that is, if it is used to identify goods or services.
Benefits of a Registered Trademark
Registration of trademark is a key step in protecting and building value in your brand. Essentially, registration is direct evidence of ownership. It gives you the exclusive right, renewable every 10 years, to use the trademark and to protect your goods and services against misuse by others in the Canadian marketplace. In addition, Canadian trademark registration can be used to claim priority in registering the trademark in foreign countries. It also allows you to enter major ecommerce platforms such as Amazon Brand Registry.
If your trademark is not registered, your rights are limited to the geographic area where the trademark has been used, and you will have to prove ownership of your trademark to the court.
Only a registered trademark can be marked with (R). A trademark that has not yet been registered is often marked with (TM).
Canadian Trademark Application Process
To register a trademark in Canada, you need to file your trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) of Industry Canada and get it approved. The registration process typically includes a few key stages:
- Initial examination.
- Allowance, and
While this may seem overwhelming at first, the process is not as challenging as you may think.
Quick & Easy Process:
The whole process takes approximately twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months, unless there are opposition proceedings, in which case the process can be much longer.
Important: Trademark registration through the CIPO only protects your trademark rights in Canada. If you are selling wares or services in other countries, CIPO advises that you should register your trademark in each of those countries as well.
Do You Need a Trademark Agent?
Anyone can fill out a trademark application form but later on, the costs of making a mistake can be serious. Preparing and following through on your application can be a complex process. So, if it really matters, consider a professional to help. This is not only needed to adhere to Canadian trademark law, but it also assists with your overall registration process.
We have built extensive business networks, working with licensed trademark agents, lawyers, and IP consultants to provide trademark registration services to our clients. Our partners will make sure that your application is properly written so that your trademark will be protected. This is especially important if someone challenges your right to the trademark.
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A registered trademark is a valuable asset that can protect your brand. Contact us today so we can configure your perfect solution.Order Now