A trademark (trade-mark) is any distinctive combination of word(s), slogan, symbol, or logo which identifies your goods or services from others.
It is also recognized as your brand. A logo could form all or part of your brand. A logo can be a type of trademark which is a distinctive design or symbol which identifies individual businesses. Logos also may qualify for copyright protection for its artistic qualities. The backbone of your business is built on your brand. Is it properly protected?
Common Law - Registered vs. Unregistered trademarks
An unregistered trademark may be recognized under Common Law in Canada but, only for the region where first use can be proven and established. The onus to prove any rights is dependent on the owner. In a law suit, the unregistered owner must prove or defend its rights through potentially costly legal process each and every time. In contrast, registered trademarks are automatically granted federal protection.
Registration is proof of trademark ownership
If you are a big business you may be able to rely on market saturation across Canada in association with the trademark to acquire rights under Common Law. However, for most small businesses, such large scale marketing is prohibitively expensive and takes time. Registration of your trademark grants exclusive rights and is the best way to protect your brand.
Are you buying, selling, expanding or franchising/distributing your business products or services? It is wise for owners, buyers, sellers and franchisees/distributors to ensure that the trademark business products or services are properly used and protected through registration.
Is your product or brand being sold in the USA or outside of Canada? If so, might you be infringing on another’s brand? Will this potential conflict impede the future growth of your business? Often nominal research by a Registered Trade-mark Agent can provide assistance, empower a decision making process and alleviate the pain of these potential impediments.
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