Canadian Trademarks Database Tutorial - Lesson 1: Trademarks in Business

To effectively use the Canadian Trademarks Database in business, it is important to understand how to use it. In this section you will learn about:

Selecting trademarks

You might have an idea in mind for a name or symbol you would like to register as a trademark. Before going through the application process, be sure that the selected name or symbol can be a trademark and is available. By doing so, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts with other businesses as well as potential legal expenses. There are two steps in this process:

  1. Find out if your trademark is registrable
    The first step is to learn what types of trademarks can be registered. You can find a listing of the types of marks that do not ordinarily qualify as trademarks in the Guide to Trademarks: Making sure your trademark can be registered .
  2. Find out if it is available
    If your name or symbol qualifies for registration, you will need to determine whether it is being used by another business. If it is, you may not be able to use it for your business. And, if the name or symbol you are considering is very similar to an existing mark, you may not be able to register it either.

Protecting trademarks

Registration of a trademark provides the owner with the exclusive right to use the trademark in association with its goods and services in Canada. Occasionally, a trademark may be used inadvertently and without authorization. The Canadian Trademarks Database can help prevent accidental infringement before it takes place and assist in settling a trademark dispute.

  • Proof of ownership
    If you believe that another business is using your trademark, you can use the Canadian Trademarks Database to prove that you own the trademark. You will need to search the database and present your registration information to the other business. Or, you can present your Registration Certificate. Keep in mind that it is always best to retain legal counsel in such situations.
  • Preventing infringement
    All active and inactive trademarks are available for public viewing on the Database. Using the Database will help reduce risks of trademark infringement.

Making strategic business decisions

Understanding how to use the search options of the Canadian Trademarks Database can help you recognize trends, locate potential partners, develop your branding, and make strategic business decisions based on trademarks data.

  • Recognize trends
    Find out who your competition is, what they are doing, and develop a comparative analysis of products or services.
  • Locate partners
    Reviewing businesses in your industry or related industries may identify potential partners. Use the trademark records to contact them and explore possibilities of working together.
  • Develop branding
    When developing your branding strategy, review the symbols and names that have already been registered in your industry. You will then be able to develop your branding by differentiating your business or by following established industry trends.