Trade Mark Registration in Canada

There are many benefits to registering your company’s logo or other proprietary marks in Canada but is it really worth the paper work and cost?

There are also some changes to the registration process that came into effect in June to align Canada’s trademark registration process with those of over 100 countries internationally. Let’s explore some of the benefits that registering a trademark nationally may give to small and mid sized business owners and discuss what some of the changes may offer business owners.

Benefits of Registering a Trademark in Canada.

There are two types of trademarks registered and unregistered. If your business has a logo or a brand identity that is unique to your business, ie not just your business name in a commercial font, then you already have an unregistered trademark. With an unregistered trademark you only have protection in the immediate communities in which you serve where reputation can be shown whereas with a registered trademark you are protected nationwide and in some cases other countries as well. Below are some of the benefits to registering a trademark. 

  • Protection throughout Canada Companies that have registered trademarks have the exclusive right to use that mark across Canada for the goods or services for which it is associated.

  • More effective “Cease and Desist” Letters As a first line of defence against copyright violations, a Cease and Desist letter with a copy of the trademark registration is likely to be more effective than one without.

  • Increased business value Potential buyers or investors often like to see a trademark registration in the list of business assets when buying or investing in a business.

  • Let others know you’re already there All trademark registrations are placed on a public database that is searchable by others looking to start a business

Changes to Canada’s Trademark Registration Process.

On June 17th 2019 new trademark regulations came into effect in Canada based on the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol enables individuals and businesses who qualify as Canadian Nationals to file for one trademark application for more than 100 countries for one rate.

The other interesting change that has been made is that business owners can now file a trademark for non-traditional things such as holograms, moving images (motion), scent marks, taste marks, colour, 3D shapes, mode of packaging, texture marks, and the positioning of a sign. An example of using one of these new modes of trademarking could be that a restaurant makes a dish with its own recipe and has a distinct flavour. This restaurant could trademark the flavour profile of that dish so no other restaurant could use that dish.

More detailed information can be found by seeing the links to the Association of Registered Graphic Designers below.

Information sourced from Ralph Kroman’s article for the Association of Registered Graphic Designers found at https://www.rgd.ca/2019/04/04/canadian-trademarks-a-great-time-to-file-part-1.php and https://www.rgd.ca/2018/04/04/canadian-trademarks-a-great-time-to-file-part-2.php

Disclaimer: The information provided is for discussion purposes only and is meant to provoke interest in the reader and motivation to learn more about the new trademark registration rules from their legal professional.


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