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Using trademarks as a business tool
In today's competitive global marketplace, your brand can become one of your most valuable assets.
What is a brand?
A brand is the image and reputation of your business as it is perceived by your customers.
Successful marketing usually includes building a valuable brand by protecting any marks that distinguishes your products and services from others in the marketplace.
The best tool used to distinguish a brand from those of your competitors is a registered trademark. Typically, businesses obtain trademark protection for their business name, and any product, service, logo or slogan.
Did you know?
Even if your company name or your business name is registered federally (Corporations Canada), provincially or territorially, it is recommended to also obtain trademark registration to better protect your brand.
What's in a name?
Company name: Legal name, registered federally, provincially or territorially.
Example: lululemon athletica inc.
Business name: Name under which you conduct your business.
Example: lululemon athletica
Domain name: Name of your address on the Web.
Trademark: A trademark may be one, or a combination of words, sounds or designs used to distinguish your goods and services from others in the marketplace.
(You can view this trademark in the Trademarks Database by entering lululemon)
Why register your trademark?
- The registration provides proof of ownership.
- It provides you with exclusive rights across Canada for 15 years and may be renewed indefinitely.
- It helps you to protect your products and services from imitation and misuse.
- It allows you to flag an infringement under the Trade-marks Act.
- It provides you with licensing opportunities to maximize your trademark’s commercial potential.
- It protects your trademark’s value.
|Canadian brands||(in billions of dollars)|
|Royal Bank of Canada||10.5|
|Shoppers Drug Mart/ Pharmaprix||3.2|
Source: Interbrand Canada 2014
Find out if your trademark is available
Search the Canadian Trademarks Database for information on specific trademarks.
New business opportunities
If you are planning to export your goods and services, consider registering your trademarks for each of your target markets.
A licensing agreement can generate new revenues and is one of the quickest ways to expand across global markets.
In addition, a licensing agreement is a contract between you, as a trademark owner, and any third party who wishes to distribute your products and services to new markets.
Registering trademarks helps prove to your future partners that you own the rights, and therefore allows them to obtain a licence with confidence.
Protecting your brand
Disclaimer: lululemon®, lululemon athletica® and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of lululemon athletica canada inc. and are registered and/or used in Canada, the U.S. and countries around the world. Used under licence from lululemon athletica canada inc.