Copycat Brands


Are you concerned about other businesses copying your business name and/or branding? You should be.

Copycat brands do appear in the market, trying to capture business from the goodwill in your brand. They typically copy some or all of your branding elements, like your brand name, colours and/or logo. For example, I saw this business sign recently in Rome. Clearly this business is playing off the branding of Starbucks with the green colour, circle & stars as well as using "Star" in its name. You should try to stop copycat brands like this as soon as they appear.

Be Vigilant

In addition to using and promoting your brand, you should always be keeping an eye on other parties who may a trademark that is the same or very similar to your trademark. Internet searching is one way to be aware of potential trademark infringers. If you do find an potential trademark infringer, it is important to take steps to enforce your trademark rights against them to prevent dilution of your trademark and prevent erosion of your rights.

Enforcement Options

If you find a potential infringing party, one option is to send a cease & desist letter. It is possible that the other party was not aware of your trademark rights and/or the similarity between the marks. If the other party has just started their business, they may be more likely to stop the use of the infringing mark, as they are not heavily invested in the brand. A trademark professional can assist with the appropriate wording of such a letter & handling communications with the other party. Further action may be taken if the cease & desist letter does not achieve the desired result.

It is important to note that having a registered trademark gives you more leverage & legitimacy when attempting to enforce your trademark.

Next Steps

Contact Sander Law today to register your trademark with the Canadian Trademark Office and/or to enforce your trademark rights.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.