What is the difference between trademarks and trade name, or other forms of intellectual property?
Why should a trademark and trade name search be done before filing a trademark application?
What is a trademark?A trademark is a word (or words), a design, or combination of the these, used to identify the goods or services of one person or organization and to distinguish these goods or services from those of others in the marketplace.
What is the difference between trademarks and other forms of intellectual property?Trademarks should not be confused with other forms of intellectual property as each serves a different purpose. For example, trademarks are commonly confused with either patents or copyrights. However, each form of intellectual property is very different. A patent covers a new invention (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter) and any new and useful improvement to an existing invention. A copyright provides protection for literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical works (including computer programs), as well as performances, sound recordings, and communication signals.
Other forms of intellectual property include industrial designs and integrated circuit topography. An industrial design consists of the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament (or any combination of these), applied to a finished manufactured article. Integrated circuit topography refers to the three-dimensional configuration of the electronic circuitry in integrated circuit products or to the physical layout design of circuitry.
What is the difference between a registered and unregistered trademark?A registered trademark is one that has been formally applied for and entered in the Register of Trademarks. The Office of the Registrar of Trademarks (a division of the [Canadian Intellectual Property Office], CIPO is the body that administers and maintains the Register. As owner of a registered trademark, you are entitled to place an ® after your mark.
An unregistered trademark is one that has not been entered in the Register of Trademarks and is commonly referred to as a common law trademark. Common law trademarks are still granted protection when they are used for a certain length of time. While you are not permitted to place an ® after your mark, it is recommended that you place a TM after it so as to show the consumer that it is a proprietary trademark.
Why should I register a trademark?A registered trademark is a key to protecting your brand. Registration of your trademark provides legal title to intellectual property in much the same way as a deed gives title to a piece of real estate. Trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use that mark in Canada in association with the wares and services listed in the registration for 15 years, and the registration is renewable every 15 years thereafter.
Do I need to hire a registered trademark agent?Preparing a trademark application and following it through to registration can be a tricky and complex legal process. A registered trademark agent has the specialized knowledge of the law, and of Trademarks Office practice and is skilled to properly prepare the application to avoid unnecessary obstacles and to efficiently guide the application through the registration process.
You must exercise caution when choosing someone to represent your trademark interests. Some companies offer trademark services but neither the companies nor the individuals employed there are recognized by the Registrar of Trademarks as registered trademark agents. Therefore, before you enlist the help of a trademark agent, make sure they are a registered trademark agent. The Registrar of Trademarks maintains a
[list of registered agents].
How long does the registration process take?From the time the trademark application is filed, it typically takes 18 months to 2 years for the trademark to register. This is, of course, if there are no obstacles along the way. For example, if the trademark is opposed by a third party, registration could take much longer, depending on the outcome of the opposition process.
How much does it cost to register a trademark?The total cost to register a trademark can vary depending on the complexity of the application. The most important stage in the process, however, is drafting the application. If the application is drafted correctly, costs and obstacles can be significantly reduced. We are committed to providing cost-effective services to meet your particluar budget. Please [contact us] to discuss your needs.
How long does a registration last?A trademark registration lasts for 15 years and can be renewed every 15 years after that.