By: Anton Rizor, Anna Xu

Imagine you had a really good idea. An idea so good that you have decided to start a business. You put in long hours to develop your product, build connections, and finally enter the market. You have created an identity for your business thanks to your new logo. You are proud of what you have achieved and the name you have created in the marketplace.

However, competition is fierce, and you fear competitors may want to take advantage of or imitate what you’ve created.

So, how do you protect your logo?

The good news is that Canadian trademark owners can enforce their rights even without obtaining a registration. The even better news is that trademark owners can gain further significant advantages by registering their trademark. The following highlights some of the beneficial factors of registering a trademark. The list is long; however, below is a non-exhaustive list of the main advantages:

1. Nationwide Protection

According to the Trademarks Act, a registered trademark owner has the exclusive right to the use of the mark throughout Canada in respect to the registered goods and services. This means that you are protected across Canada and not just in a geographical region.

2. Prevent Infringement

Rather than having to go to costly litigation to stop another organization from using a similar name, logo, or design in your field, the registration of your trademark in Canada indicates to other companies that they are prohibited from obtaining a similar name, logo or design. The trademark search engine will display you as the sole owner of the mark thus urging other companies to change their logo.

3. Valuable Asset

A registered trademark is an asset that you own. It can be assigned and licensed to others for use.

4. Domain Name

Registering a Canadian trademark will allow you to use a corresponding domain name in the .ca domain name registry.

Needless to say, registering your trademark can be an important step in protecting your brand identity. However, registering and protecting a trademark can be a complicated and laborious process. We know that as the owner of a small company, you might be more inclined to focus your energy on developing your business idea. However, you should not neglect your trademarks. Therefore, it is advised to consult with a legal professional before commencing the process of registering your trademark.

However, as explained in this blog post about the trademark paradox , small and medium enterprises often shy away from following through with protecting their trademarks for various reasons such as the cost or just simple lack of awareness of their rights.

This has motivated the Conflict Analytics Lab to explore developing AI-powered tools that can help make it easier for small and medium enterprises to understand their trademark issues, especially when it comes to the likelihood of confusion. In particular, the Lab is currently hard at work developing a website that will allow users to determine the likelihood of confusion between their trademark and another company’s. This website and tool aim to provide a user-friendly starting point for business owners to start accessing and taking advantage of their trademark rights.

Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook for updates on the new tool launch.