What is a trademark and why should I trademark?

Mar 30, 2017

Building a successful business and brand takes money and a tireless commitment. Over the course of doing business, you may put in place many protections for company, this may include registering a trademark for your business’s name or markings.

What is a trademark in Canada?

A trademark can protect your brand by representing your unique business identity. A trademark acts as a distinguishing feature for your business and its goods and services from businesses similar to your own.  There are two types of trademarks in Canada, registered and unregistered. When you register a trademark you reserve exclusive rights to use it over 15 years with the option of renewal.

A trademark is more than just the name of your business, it can extend to your logos, slogan, words, numbers, designs, packaging or even sounds associated with your brand.

Businesses are advised to register trademarks as they can protect a brand under law from misuse and it also gives businesses a competitive edge. This extended to negotiations, financing and even the ability to sell a business/brand.

The benefits of registering a trademark in Canada

The main benefit of registering a trademark in Canada is that the business is rewarded with an increased value and stronger enforcement rights of the trademark. Other benefits of registering a trademark for a brand or business include:

  • You retain the right to exclusive use of your trademark in Canada
  • Your retain protection nationally in Canada for 15 years, with renewal options
  • You retain the ability to enforce your trademark rights
  • You maintain an enhanced ability to license your rights to others within Canada

Should I register a trademark?

This depends on a number of factors, it is important to consult with your lawyer to understand if it is it would be a necessary benefit to your business. The main reason why a lawyer might recommend that you register a trademark even if your business is small, is that it bolsters your businesses legal position and provides you with more power to assert your rights.

A business lawyer will be able to prepare your trademark application,  file the trade-mark request and see through the registration of the trade-mark with the federal government.

Filing to register a trademark is a complicated process that could take upwards of two years. If you are interested in learning more about registering a trademark or have questions about Canadian intellectual property law, contact one of our experienced Niagara business lawyers below.

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