Create Time 2019-07-09 04:07 Views：1155
If you were to ask, “Do I HAVE to do a trademark search in Canada?” the honest answer would be, “Well no ... but YES.” While the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) does not require you to undertake a trademark search before filing, any and every trademark lawyer and agent will tell you that a trademark search is necessary if you hope to register your trademark in Canada and beyond.
Applying for a trademark without having done your due diligence by conducting a thorough trademark search is highly detrimental to your brand. You could end up trying to trademark a word, logo, or phrase that you love but have no idea already belongs to someone else — someone who filed for registration first.
It’s the worst faux pas of the IP industry. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and while you may just want to get on with your business without a lot of fuss, you’ll have a lot of negative attention turned your way; and worst of all, you face the greatest fear of trademark applicants — rejection.
When choosing a trademark name, distinctiveness is the number one priority for both avoiding trademark infringement and avoiding rejection from your CIPO trademark examiner. After all, if someone else infringes your mark, you risk losing customers, revenue and good faith. Given the new crackdown on non-distinctive trademark name applications, it’s never been a better time to ensure you do a trademark search before trying to register your mark.
Registered trademark owners are always on the lookout for marks that pose a danger to their own. So even if a non-distinctive mark passes the examination round, it will definitely receive a beating in the publication round, when anyone can check out pending trademarks.
If another company feels that your trademark is identical or similar to their own, they will slap an opposition on you as quickly as possible. This will begin a round of time-consuming, costly hearings and negotiations; and if you can’t prove that your trademark is distinctive or that you are the rightful owner, your trademark will be rejected.
While there are no guarantees, the first and best thing you can do for your trademark filing is conduct a thorough trademark search beforehand. That way, you can know as much as possible about what other brands are out there and how their trademarks compare to yours. You can foresee potential problems with your chosen name before you get too attached to it and begin spending money on branding. Trademark searches give you the knowledge and time to adapt your branding if necessary before it gets too complicated.
Being a small, unassuming company, or having used a particular name to do business for years are no longer protections under the changes to Canadian trademark law. The rights now fall to whoever filed the trademark first, unless you can prove that your trademark is sufficiently famous that consumers would associate it with your company.
So don’t waste time, get started! If you have a brand but no trademark, you need to get filing asap, which means that you need to conduct your trademark search even sooner.
Witmart offers a free trademark search service with a speedy turnaround. Visit our website to book your complimentary consultation and search today.