Registering a trademark in Canada isn't as complicated as one may think. Even though it isn't mandatory in Canada, it's a good idea to register your trademark to protect your intellectual property.
Why Register and What to Register
A registered trademark will:
• Help you distinguish your business from competitors.
• Establish your company's brand.
• Prevent others from registering a similar mark for similar products or services.
• Give authority to your brand name.
• Help you enforce the protection of your intellectual property.
What is a trademark anyway?
A trademark is a word, symbol, or design that is used to represent the services or products of a business. You can also combine words and images to create a trademark. Let's look at a few examples:
• The golden arches of McDonald's. This is a good example of a symbol as a trademark. Everyone knows that these particular arches, drawn or established in this particular way, are clearly the mark of the McDonald's restaurants. Even without the word "McDonald's" anywhere on the symbol, the trademark represents the brand.
• Geico's insurance gecko. You may be very familiar with the little green gecko with the British accent. He is a trademarked mascot of Geico Insurance. Seeing or hearing a British green gecko is clearly the representative of Geico.
• Nike's "Just do it" slogan. In this case, a unique slogan that Nike trademarked associates the phrase with their athletic products.
What can you trademark?
• Your company name or product line.
• A symbol or logo of your brand.
• A slogan or phrase used with your brand.
What can't you trademark?
• Creative works like films, books or songs. These are protected by copyright, which is different from a trademark.
• Inventions like mechanical devices. These are protected by patents.
• A business idea or other general ideas or procedures. Some creations associated with this may be eligible of protection through copyright, but a trademark doesn't apply here.
Now that we know what we can and can't trademark, follow these simple steps on how to register a trademark in Canada.
How to Register a Trademark in Canada
Before you do anything, search for any trademarks that already exist.
Even though you're confident you thought up your own trademark, someone else may have come up with something very similar. It happens more often than you think.
Therefore, the first step in trademark registration is to make sure your trademark is unique.
Conduct a search and analysis for your trademark to see if anything similar already exists or not.
Prepare your Logo
If you have a logo you want to trademark, you should create a professional image of your logo, design, or the word or slogan you want to register. If you have a unique font that is associated with your brand, it can be used as a logo.
Your image mark should be filed without color claim. This way, you can use it in any combinations of colors. If the colors of your logo are important to your brand, you can file the trademark with color claim, but this limits you to using the logo only in those colors.
If you only want to protect a slogan or name, no image is required.
Prepare the Application
Once you have an image of your proposed trademark, you'll also need:
• Your business address.
• Your image file to upload.
• The description of the products or services associated with your trademark.
• The date you first used the trademark in Canada. If you have yet to use the trademark in Canada, this must be stated.
Submit the Application
Once you have all of your information prepared, you're ready to submit your application.
Now, if you have an address in Canada, it is possible to go to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and jump through their hoops, but finding a qualified trademark agent is much easier, faster, and will help prevent mistakes.
At iGERENT, we make applying for trademark registration in Canada simple and seamless.
Contact us today for a free quote.