I have written before about the decision to incorporate, or to register a business name, but haven’t touched on Trademarks.
What is a Trademark? The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) defines Trademark as “a combination of letters, words, sounds or designs that distinguishes one company’s goods or services from those of others in the marketplace.”
Trademarks are unique and it is important for a company to protect their words, sounds or designs because over time, their Trademark not only represents actual goods and services they sell, but also the company’s brand.
By registering your trademark, you protect it from misuse by others, and you gain exclusive rights to use it throughout Canada for 15 years, with the right to renew. If someone chooses to use your unique words or designs, you have the right to demand that they cease to use those.
As there are many rules and guidelines that need to be followed when registering Trademarks, you will want to make sure that you are using a qualified lawyer and law firm to help you through this process. All I can say is that it’s a good thing we have Inga B. Andriessen, who is a registered Trademark Agent.
If you think you want to register a Trademark, you will want to look into this sooner rather than later as come June 17, 2019, changes will be made to the Trademarks Act which could impact your rights to register. If you want more information, please reach out to Inga directly.
Christine Allan, Law Clerk