A trademark is a unique sign which can include a single word or multiple words, symbol, design, a combination of letters, an invented or coined word, sounds, pictures, or logos. Trademarks are used to identify and distinguish goods and/or services from the goods and services of competitors.
The Trademarks Act also provides protection for other types of marks.
- A certification mark is a unique sign that is used to convey to the consumer that the related goods and services meet a defined standard.
- A distinguishing guise provides protection for the shape of goods or their containers, or a mode of wrapping or packaging. In this instance, it is the appearance of the goods that is used to identify and distinguish the owner’s goods in the marketplace.
Trademarks are a valuable business asset and over time can become synonymous of the owner and its reputation in the marketplace.
A registered trademark provides the owner with the exclusive right to use the mark throughout all of Canada for the defined goods and services. The Trademarks Office will assist a trademark owner to police its mark through the examination of newly filed applications and will refuse an application if the trademark is deemed to be confusing with an active trademark on the Register. In addition, a registered trademark is extremely beneficial if the owner intends to license or franchise its business operations and can be used as a basis to register the same trademark in other countries.