Your business has a brand. Your customers know what to expect from your products and services when they see your brand because your brand is an indication not only of the source of your products and services but also their character and quality. Your brand is also your distinctive trade-mark, which is often the most valuable asset of your business, and one which can be easily protected from infringement by registration with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
So, why should you register your brand? What are the benefits of trade-mark registration?
Here are the main reasons why you should apply to register:
- The registration provides proof of ownership and constructive notice of ownership.
- The registration provides you exclusive legal rights across Canada.
- The registration is for 15 years and can be renewed indefinitely.
- The registration protects your products and services from imitation and misuse.
- The registration provides greater franchising and licensing opportunities.
- The registration provides special rights and remedies against infringement.
- The registration protects the reputational value of your brand and its goodwill.
Here are some of the key benefits of a trade-mark registration:
- Once registered, you may use the R-in-a-circle ® as public notice of your rights.
- Unlike non-registered marks, your protection extends beyond your local markets.
- Registration provides free protection against others applying for similar marks.
- Companies will not adopt a name similar to the trade-mark you have registered.
- Investors in your business will feel that you are properly protecting valuable assets.
- Registered marks are easier to use as security for debt financing.
- Having a registered mark is fundamental in any domain name dispute.
- For infringement actions, you can sue the other party in Federal Court.
- In addition to infringement, you can sue for depreciation of goodwill.
- The use of your trade-mark by a licensee accrues to the goodwill of your brand.
While a trade-mark does not have to be registered, the legal advantages and significant benefits of registration are undeniable. Brand owners can increase the value of their trade-marks and their bottom line by obtaining stronger rights and remedies under the law, which better enables their business to grow. As such, obtaining trade-mark registration for your brand is an excellent return on your investment and the smart thing to do for any successful marketing strategy.
For more information about trade-marks, please contact our trade-mark agent Marc Belliveau.