Trademarks: The Basics

Trademarks: The Basics

A trademark is a form of intellectual property rights that protects brands.

What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies a particular brand of goods and/or services and distinguishes the brand from others in the marketplace. In most instances, a trademark is comprised of words, a design or a combination thereof. Some items that may be trademarked include a business name, a brand name, a product name, a logo, and slogans. Non-traditional trademarks include for example a numeral, a colour, a hologram, a moving image, a sound, a scent, a taste, and a texture.

Unregistered Trademarks

By using a trademark over a period of time, you may acquire unregistered rights in the trademark. Generally, these rights will be limited to the geographical area you use the trademark in association with your goods and/or services.

Registered Trademark Rights

A registered trademark gives the owner the exclusive right to use the trademark.

A benefit of registering your trademark in Canada is that you will have an exclusive right to use the trademark across Canada. As well, the trademark registration acts as proof that you are the owner of the trademark.

For other countries, you would register your trademark in each country or region you seek protection.

Period of Protection for Registered Trademarks

In Canada, trademark protection lasts for 10 years (updated June 2019) from the date of registration and may be renewed in additional 10 year increments indefinitely.

The preceding content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. If you seek such advice for your particular matter please contact Sander Law.