September 2013

Consider registering your trademark

By Josée Tourangeau Lawyer

Whether it is a name or a logo or comes in any other form, your trademark is what distinguishes the merchandise or services you commercialize from all the others on the market. In Canada and the United States, trademark registration is optional. Those who use a trademark may still assert their rights even if the trademark is not registered. Still, registration has many benefits.

For example, registering your trademark will publicize its adoption and confer a presumption of ownership that could prove very useful if you ever become involved in a dispute.

Registration provides protection in the countries in which the trademark applies, even if it is only used on part of the territory.

In addition, the trademarks registrar may refuse to register a trademark if it is too similar to one that has already been registered or which is pending approval. The brand recorded in the trademark register is therefore protected, since it will be taken into account when subsequent registration applications are processed.

If you put off registering your trademark, someone else may register it in the meantime. Even if you prove prior usage, the registration cancellation process can be long and costly. It is always best to be the first to use your trademark and the first to register it!

There's no time like the present to capitalize on all the advantages that come with trademark registration. The cost is minimal when you consider the potential benefits.