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Do I Need a Registered Trademark?

Before you are able to answer the question to whether you need a registered trademark in Canada, it is prudent to understand what a registered trademark is, the benefits of a registered trademark in Canada, the differences between a registered trademark and other indicia.

Registered Trademark in Canada

A registered trademark is a trademark that is on the register, which is kept under the supervision of the Registrar of Trademarks.

Under the Trademarks Act, a trademark is defined as follows:

  • a sign or combination of signs that is used or proposed to be used by a person for the purpose of distinguishing or so as to distinguish their goods or services from those of others, or 
  • a certification mark.

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the first bullet-point above when referring to a trademark.

In summary, a registered trademark is a mark, such as ABC, used or proposed to be used by a person for the purpose of distinguishing or so as to distinguish their goods or services from those of others that is on the register.

For information about trademarks, generally, see the following article on trademarks.

How is a Trademark Registered in Canada?

Generally, a trademark becomes registered in Canada when an application is formalized, examined, advertised, and then registered.

Is a Trademark Application a Trademark Registration?

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a trademark application will turn into a registered trademark.

Benefits of a Registered Trademark in Canada

In Canada, there are many different benefits of a registered trademark. To name just a few, a registered trademark provides the registered owner a sword and a shield in regard to that particular trademark.

A trademark registration is a shield because it generally, with exception, gives to the owner of the trademark the exclusive right to the use throughout Canada of the trademark in respect of those goods or services. 

A trademark registration is a sword because it allows the owner to sue for trademark infringement and depreciation of goodwill.

There are many different benefits of a registered trademark in Canada under the Trademarks Act, as well as under other statutes, including provincial statutes, that are beyond the scope of this article.

Differences Between a Registered Trademark and Other Indicia

Trade Name

Under the Trademarks Act, a trade name is defined as follows:

means the name under which any business is carried on, whether or not it is the name of a corporation, a partnership or an individual.

Federal Corporate Name, Provincial Corporate Name, Business Name, etc.

Many people believe that by virtue of having a registered business name or a corporate name, whether federal or provincial, they automatically have a registered trademark. Unfortunately, that is an incorrect assumption, which can lead to costly consequences. A trade name is not a trademark, nor is it a registered trademark.

Unregistered Trademark

An unregistered trademark is a complex concept, which is not covered in this article. However, there are differences between a registered trademark in Canada and an unregistered trademark. A registered trademark in Canada provides the benefits listed above.

All materials contained on this website should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. The content of the SLC Law website is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or other advice on any subject matter. Contact a lawyer or other professional for advice regarding your particular circumstances.

Contact a Trademark Agent

If you need assistance with registering your trademark, our trademark agent can assist with preparing and filing your trademark application, as well as other trademark agent services. Contact SLC Law for your trademark agent needs.

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About the author

Michael Scardicchio Lawyer

Michael Scardicchio is a lawyer who practises business law, corporate law, and intellectual property law. Michael is also a licensed trademark agent in Canada.