Registering A Trademark In Alberta
Registering a trademark enables you to protect all the hard work, time and money that you put into developing the reputation of your business and its products or services. Failing to register can mean throwing that work away, as you have no way to stop competitors from using your marks in conjunction with their own business. Protect your business by registering a trademark in Alberta. Book a consultation with our Edmonton Edmonton corporate and commercial lawyers to discuss the details of your situation.
What Is a Trademark and What Does It Accomplish?
A trademark is a combination of elements used to distinguish a business owner's goods or services from those of others. The elements of a trademark can include:
- - Words and letters
- - Designs or images
- - Tastes, textures, sounds and scents
- - Moving images
- - Packaging
- - Holograms
- - 3-dimensional shapes
- - Colours
A trademark does not need to include all of these elements. Many trademarks consist of just a word or just an image or design.
A trademark, when used in combination with your business, becomes known by the public over time and comes to represent both the product or service you provide, and the reputation of your business.
What Are the Risks of Not Registering Your Business or Product Name as a Trademark?
There are many things to consider when starting a business, and trademarking your business or product names may not be at the top of mind. However, if you decide not to register your trademark, you risk others using the same mark in conjunction with their own business. If a competitor uses the same or similar marks in conjunction with their business, the results may be confusing for the public and damaging to your business. Potential customers might go to your competitor, mistakenly thinking they have found you. If your competitor's product or services are inferior to your own, some potential customers, having been disappointed by your competitor in the past, might avoid you in the future thinking you are the same business.
Not only do you risk confusing potential customers and losing business, but if a competitor decides to register the confusing mark, they can then demand that you stop using it – even if you have been using it longer. This can end up costing significant amounts of money in legal fees and expenses for rebranding and redesigning packaging.
How to Go About Registering a Trademark in Alberta
All trademarks in Canada are registered federally with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The first step in registering a trademark is ensuring that your mark meets the formal requirements set out in the Trademarks Act. The problem most commonly encountered at this stage is when a mark is found to be confusingly similar to an existing mark. You may need to tweak your mark and your application if you encounter this problem.
You or your trademark agent will submit an application to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with your application fee. A trademark examiner reviews your application, and if it satisfies the examiner, the application is published in the Trademarks Journal. Others have the opportunity to see your application and oppose it. If your application is not opposed, or if an opposition is withdrawn or not successful, then your trademark is registered. The registration lasts for 10 years and can be renewed at that time.
Contact Our Edmonton Corporate and Commercial Lawyers Today for a Consultation
Registering a trademark to represent your unique business and products can be essential to nurturing and protecting the growth of your company. Opposition during the application process is not the only potential complication while going about registering a trademark. Our Edmonton corporate and commercial lawyers might be essential in addressing your questions and guiding you through the process of registering a trademark in Alberta. Contact us today for more information and to book a consultation.
*Please note that this article is intended to offer a general overview on the topic of registering a trademark in Alberta, and does not constitute legal advice. If you would like legal advice, contact an Edmonton corporate and commercial lawyer today.