What is a Trademark in Plain English?
Quite simply a registered trademark allows you to have comfort and ownership of a unique, distinct, and distinguishing identity in the marketplace. A trademark “DISTINGUISHES” your goods or services from those of others in the marketplace; it tells the world that your goods/services come from one source. Let us know of any special element such as a logo, name, slogan that you use to promote and distinguish your business from others and we can help!
Is a business or trade name the same as a trademark?
A trade or business name though often is used to conduct your business it does not give you the exclusive ownership that a registered trademark does.
Why register a trademark?
The only way to own a mark that is enforceable across Canada (or with the governments of other jurisdictions, if they meet the necessary criteria) is to register it with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Registration is valuable, because you get a MONOPOLY on the use of the mark across Canada for 10 years.
When does one register a trademark?
Getting legal advice on the mark you propose to use can save a lot of future time, trouble and cost. We recommend you apply for a trademark on or before you begin to market/promote your brand or identity with your unique mark.
What can’t I register?
A few easy restrictions to be mindful of as to what you cannot register as a trademark: (i) a surname; (ii) a trademark should also not DESCRIBE your goods or services; or (iii) be confusing with a trademark used by a competitor (this would be considered INFRINGING on your competitor’s rights).
How long is the trademark registration process?
Trademark application is a PROCESS that takes at least 14-18 months if there are no obstacles, and longer if there are obstacles. There is no guarantee a trademark will eventually be registered.
What is the fee for applying for a trademark?
The legal fee component for an uncontested and unopposed application is $1,500 plus HST and Disbursements. Disbursements include basic name searches ($150) [comprehensive searches are more expensive, if required], application fees (as of June 17, 2019, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) filing fees are now charged on a “per class” basis instead of on a “per application” basis. CIPO fees are $330 for the first class and an additional fee of $100 for each additional class of goods or services covered by the application) and final registration fees charged by CIPO.
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