The Benefits of Having a Registered Trademark
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Unregistered trademarks are protected by common law and you, as the owner of an unregistered trademark, may wonder “why go through the process to register my trademark?”
While having an unregistered trademark does afford the owner some basic rights through common law, which may be restricted to the area of where the goods or services are offered, a registered trademark is protected throughout all of Canada from being used by another party for similar goods or services.
By having a registered trademark, you are now in a position to make a claim for infringement and/or depreciation of goodwill. Unlike with an unregistered trademark where the only outcome will be that the other party has to cease and desist their use of the confusingly similar trademark, having a registered trademark allows you to sue for damages that you may have suffered as a result of the confusion created in the marketplace from the use of a confusingly similar trademark.
As well, a registered trademark will be listed in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s Trademark database so that any party that is considering registering their confusingly similar trademark in Canada will be prevented from doing so by the examiner assigned to their trademark application. This security will assist in ensuring that your brand is free from outside competition in Canada.
Currently a registered trademark in Canada is good for a period of 15 years and may be renewed thereafter for an additional 15 years after paying the required renewal fee. When the amendments to the Trademarks Act and Trademarks Regulations come into effect, the 15-year registration period will be reduced to 10 years.
Should you ever choose to sell your business, a registered trademark will add value and will further legitimize your brand. This will allow you to pursue a more sophisticated purchaser for your business and obtain an optimal purchase price.
Our Intellectual Property Team is here to assist you with registering your trademark and having the security that comes with that status.