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Why register a trademark?

You are not legally required to register a trademark

You do not have to legally register a trademark with the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks in order to have a legal right to use it. Generally speaking, it is common practice to establish a trademark simply because it will be used for a period of time. Even so, you should know that if a dispute arises regarding ownership of the trademark, it would be more difficult to prove your ownership and protect your rights if you have not already registered your trademark.

“First use” rule

In trademark law, it is crucially important that you use your mark first so that you can establish your legal rights as the owner of the trademark. Trademark law dictates that the first person to use the mark becomes the lawful owner of that trademark. You can use your mark even before you file your application for trademark registration. However, even if you have already registered your trademark, you can still be ordered by a judge to stop using it if someone else can prove that they started using a similar or confusing mark before you began using your trademark.

The benefits of registering a trademark

The main benefit of registering your trademark is that you will enjoy the exclusive right to use your trademark in Canada for a period of 15 years. You can renew your registration every 15 years thereafter. If you do not register your trademark, your scope of legal protection will be limited to the geographic region where you have developed either business goodwill or a reputation in connection with your trademark.

A registered trademark is one that has been entered in the Register of Trademarks. The Register of Trademarks is an official record of all trademarks that have been formally registered in Canada.

It is recommended that you consult with a registered trademark agent or a lawyer for further assistance with registering your trademark.

Read more:

A guide to trademarks

Canadian Intellectual Property Office