Leave your (trade)mark

« Make your mark upon it » once said Steve Jobs about life. In business, a company also have to leave its mark in its business line.

A well-thought trademark, which is part of the intellectual property rights family, distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors and protects the business’s trademark from being used by others.

Lex Start tells you how.

A trademark is a word, a group of words, a drawing or a sign allowing an enterprise or an individual to distinguish its products or services from those already on the market or those who will be on the market.

For example, the trademark of the Canadian tea distributor David’s tea is DAVIDsTEA (yes, that includes the way it is written). The name of a company isn’t necessary its trademark.

For example, let’s say company’s name is B.B.B inc. but sells coffee named “Ç’a reveille!” Its trademark will be “Ç’a reveille” because that is the name that allows the public to identify the product.

“Registered” trademark are trademarks that have been registered with the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks. Once it is registered, the trademark is protected on Canadian land for a renewable period of ten years.

Registration provides an exclusive ownership right on the trademark to the company or individual having proceeded to the registration and prohibits other people or companies to use it as they wish. Registration also provides a proof of the right and desire of exclusive ownership, which could be used in the case of litigation.

The owner of a registered trademark must ensure that the trademark is used in a constant manner. He must also indicate through the symbols MD or ® to the public that only he can use the trademark. Generally speaking, any trademark can be registered.  The Trade-marks Act enacted some exceptions such as trademarks designating geographical location.

A non-registered trademark can, in some cases, grant rights to a company. However, going to court might be necessary to affirm such rights.

For more information on the procedure to follow in order to register your trademark, read our FAQ on the matter.

Are you ready to register your trademark?

Lex Start can put you in touch a registered trademark agent at a flat rate. Don't hesitate to contact us.

Vanessa Ntaganda

 

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