Trademark FAQs


  1. How do I get a trade-mark?  In Canada, trade-mark rights are established by “use” and by registration.  Thus Canadian trade-marks may be registered or unregistered. Unregistered trade-marks can be enforced through the common-law in a “passing-off” action. Registered marks are enforceable under the Canadian Trade-marks Act.

  3. What are the advantages of a registered trade-mark? A registered trademark will provide its owner with a number of advantages over unregistered or common-law trade-mark rights, including the following:

    • Registration provides an exclusive right to the owner to use the trade-mark throughout Canada in respect of the goods and/or services for which registration issues.  Registration reserves your right of exclusive use all across Canada, including in places or provinces where the trade-mark has not been used.

    • A registered mark prevent the subsequent registration of similar marks by others, once your trade-mark is on public record. You may also get notice from the Trade-mark Office of similar trade-marks being applied for after your mark has registered.

    • The Registration Certificate is your proof of ownership of the mark and of the distinctiveness in your trade-mark.

    • In a law suit there will no longer be a need to establish good-will or reputation, in a particular geographical region, as would be the case in a passing-off-action based on an unregistered trade-mark.
  5. What is “use” of a trade-mark? “Use” in Canada is different depending on whether the mark is for physical goods (also called “wares”) or for services. A trademark is used on wares by selling the wares with the trade-mark applied to the actual wares or to their packaging. A trademark is used in association with services by actual provision of the services within Canada and then coupled with a display of the trademark in advertising for those services (e.g. on a website) or by displaying the trade-mark when providing the services (e.g. on an employee’s uniform).

  7. Are you the Canadian Trademarks Office?  No, we are a Canadian law office with registered trade-mark agent and lawyers.  We help our clients obtain trademark registrations, deal with trademark oppositions and with the litigation of trademarks in Canadian courts.  The Canadian Trademark Office is actually called the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (or “CIPO”).  CIPO’s trade-marks website can be found here.


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