Your business, products and services have a brand image that is recognizable to customers. Learn how to protect your marketing investment.
Your brand has value
Building a brand image is a very important part of marketing.
Everything that sets your business apart—its name, product and service names, slogans, logos, taglines and even sound marks—produces a brand image that your customers come to know.
If your brand is distinctive, it will make your customers loyal and give you an edge over your competition. In fact, your brand can become one of the most valuable things about your business as customers come to know it well it over time. This value can become so great that you can use it to bargain for financing with banks and other lending institutions.
Your trademark stands for your brand
Protecting your brand and the products and services it stands for is critical to your future sales. Your trademark is an important part of your brand, and registering it gives you the exclusive right to use it to sell your products and services.
Trademarks include letters, words, logos, product and service names, slogans and more. If you do not protect your trademark, a competitor could use it or something similar, which could confuse your customers.
Five reasons to register your trademark
- It shows that the trademark is yours.
- It gives you exclusive rights to use the trademark across Canada for 10 years (and you can renew that indefinitely).
- It stops others from using a confusingly similar trademark.
- It allows you to flag infringements by others.
- It helps you license your trademark, which you can use to make money and increase your brand’s popularity.
How to register your trademark
See A Guide to Trademarks for details on how to apply for and register a trademark and to see what you can and cannot register. You can apply on your own or hire a trademark agent.
Search for an existing trademark
You need to make sure your trademark is different from those of others. If you have found a trademark that works for your business, the first step is to search the Canadian Trademarks Database to see if it is available. Do this before you put time, money and energy into a trademark that may not be available to use in Canada.
The Canadian Trademarks Database includes all active and inactive marks that were either applied for or registered under the current Trade-marks Act or former trademark laws. See the Database’s Help section for a complete description of the content.
Learn how to do a search by visiting the Canadian Trademarks Database tutorial.