Services : Trademarks
Do you have a product or a service that your customers identify by the name, logo or some other characteristic? This is your trademark. The purpose of trademarks, whether registered or unregistered, is to distinguish products and services of one business from products and services of all other businesses.
Trademarks are valuable assets. You should protect what’s yours. You should also expect others to guard what’s theirs.
Registration of Trademarks
If at least some of your customers find you because of your trademark, you should consider registering it. This is especially so if you ever plan on franchising your business.
Registration of trademarks provides many significant benefits to businesses over unregistered (common law) trademarks:
|Registration is federal, and affords the trademark owner with the exclusive right to use the trademark throughout Canada;
|A registered trademark is presumed valid. Certificate of registration is evidence of the ownership of the mark;
|Registration serves as public notice that the owner has a claim to exclusivity of that mark;
|A registered trademark can protect a trademark owner from later becoming disentitled of the trademark due to the adoption of a confusing official mark;
|Registration of a trademark provides additional statutory remedies against trademark infringement and depreciation of the value of goodwill.
The term of registration is 15 years, renewable for an unlimited number of times.
It is important to note that Canada does not adhere to the Nice Classification. Neither is it a party to the Madrid Agreement or Protocol. What this means is that it is insufficient to simply state that you want the TM registered in certain Classes. You should provide “a statement in ordinary commercial terms of the specific wares or services in association with which the mark has been or is proposed to be used”.
Also, Canada's trademark registration system revolves around the concept of use. Without use, there is no registration.
Unless you have already built some goodwill around your trademark or your trademark is totally unique, we recommend conducting a comprehensive search and obtaining a registrability opinion before you apply for registration of a trademark. This is not done to save you the cost of registration, but to save the expense of investing in a mark that cannot be registered.