Learn Trademarks – Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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A trademark can protect letters, words, symbols, designs, tastes, textures, moving images, modes of packaging, holograms, sounds, scents, 3-dimensional shapes or colours (or a combination of these) used to distinguish your goods and services from those of others in the marketplace.

It is important because over time, a trademark comes to stand not only for the actual goods or services you sell, but also for your reputation and your brand.

Your brand tells your customers what they can expect from your goods or services; it sets you apart from your competitors.

Your brand represents:

  • what your business stands for
  • what you want your business to be
  • how your business is perceived in the marketplace

The trademark protects your brand across Canada.

Protection is valid for 10 years and is renewable.

Basic fees

Please see the Payments and fees page for information about the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's fees.

Did you know?

  • The Nice Classification groups goods into 34 classes and services into 11 classes. Each class has a heading that provides a general indication of the fields in which a good or service belongs. There are also explanatory notes for the class headings that provide additional information on the types of goods or services that can be included within a specific class.
  • A trademark can be your company name, your logo or the name of your goods or services.
  • A trade name is the name of your business. A trade name can be registered under the Trademarks Act only if it is also used as a trademark, meaning if it is used to identify goods or services.
  • Registering your domain name or incorporating your business does not give you any trademark rights.
  • Taking your goods and services abroad? The Madrid Protocol allows you to file for trademark protection in multiple countries through a single application in 1 language.

What is your brand?

Evaluating brand image and identifying your trademarks are important parts of your business. Your trademarks, including good or service names, slogans, logos, taglines, modes of packaging, moving images, holograms, colours, scents, tastes, textures and sounds, produce a brand image that becomes your promise to your customers.

A distinctive brand can increase customer loyalty and give you an edge over your competition.

Securing your trademark

Five reasons to register your trademark:

  1. It provides proof of ownership.
  2. It gives you the exclusive right to use the trademark in Canada for 10 years.
  3. It discourages others from using your trademark without permission.
  4. It gives you more enforcement options.
  5. It protects the value of your trademark.

You may wish to consider using a registered trademark agent to help you with your application.

Selling and licensing

Increase your revenue and market share by selling or licensing your trademark to industry partners interested in benefiting from it.

Enforcing your rights

Monitor the marketplace for any unauthorized use or imitation of your trademark. Enforcement is the responsibility of the trademark owner.

For more information on trademarks, please visit the Trademarks page or contact our Client Service Centre at 1-866-997-1936.

Permission to reproduce

Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Department of Industry, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Department of Industry is identified as the source institution; and that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, or as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Department of Industry.

For permission to reproduce the information in this publication for commercial purposes, please fill out the Application for Crown Copyright Clearance or contact the ISED Citizen Services Centre mentioned above.

Ⓒ Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Industry,



Aussi offert en français sous le titre Marques de commerce.