HOW WE CAN HELP
If you are planning to start a business or have an established business that has begun developing its own brand awareness, it may be in your best interest to trademark your business name, logo, or other distinct business identifiers. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office defines a trademark as a combination of letters, words, sounds, or designs used to differentiate your business from a business offering similar goods or services. Registering a trademark for your business name or logo can prevent confusion among your customers who may think a business with a similar name or logo is yours. At Jahanshahi Law Firm, we can guide you through the trademark application process and provide you with legal support as the various stages of the application process unfold. A trademark application will consist of five steps which include: formalities, examination, publication, opposition, and registration. In Canada, a trademark application may take approximately 24-36 months to be registered. Once the trademark application has been submitted, we will keep track of the application’s status and update you throughout the application review process. In the event of opposition to your application, we can assist you with contesting the opposition.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO REGISTERING A TRADEMARK IN CANADA?
- Formalities – This stage involves filing the application and paying the appropriate fee. The application must meet the criteria set by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. An application that has been submitted is considered formalized.
- Examination – During the examination process, an examiner from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office will conduct a review of the application and search the trademark database to ensure the application meets the requirements set out in the Trademark Act. While smaller problems with your application may require a verbal response from you, bigger problems with the application require a written notice. Once the application has been approved by an examiner, it will move on to the next step, publication.
- Publication – During the publication stage, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office will publish the approved application in the Trademarks Journal and see if any entities or individuals bring forward an opposition to your application.
- Opposition – If there is opposition to your trademark application, the opposing party must submit a statement of opposition. Once an opposition is filed you will have the chance to provide a counter-statement to the opposition. If there is no opposition to your trademark application, it moves to the next step, registration
- Registration – Once the application progresses beyond the opposition stage, it will be registered, and the applicant will receive a certificate of registration.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A REGISTERED TRADEMARK?
- A registered trademark can be a very valuable intangible asset to the business adding to the monetary value of your company. This means that a registered trademark may lead to an increased valuation of your business.
- A registered trademark will prevent confusion among your customers ultimately enhancing your recognition and reputation.
- A registered trademark will allow you to enforce your trademark by suing parties inappropriately using your trademark for trademark infringement.
- By registering a trademark, you can oppose new trademark applications that you find may be similar to your trademark.
- A registered trademark will allow you to expand your business more easily and with peace of mind knowing that your trademark is protected across all of Canada.
- A trademark sends the message to your competitors that you are serious about your business and brand.
- A trademark can be pledged as security to lenders advancing loans to your business.
While we highly recommend that you use a lawyer or experienced trademark agent to make a trademark application, you may find a lot of useful information on Trademarks on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s website. Alternatively, you may find more information about trademarks by visiting the Business Law Insights section of our website.
If you are looking to make a trademark application for your business or if you already have a registered trademark and require the services of a business lawyer, contact us today to set up a consultation during which we can answer any questions you may have.