9 Reasons To Register A Trademark In Canada

Jan 19, 2018

Own a business? Thinking of starting a business? Looking to Brand yourself?

There are many reasons to think about registering a trademark.

But did you know there are even more reasons to register a trademark in Canada?

Even if you’re an American?

Here are 9 reasons to register a trademark in Canada.

1. Register a Trademark in Canada for Brand Protection

A trademark is a word, symbol or design (or a combination of) in association with services and or products.

It distinguishes you from other competitors in the marketplace.

A trademark can be associated both with an owner, the product, and/or service of a business.

Trademarks are also considered intellectual property.

When you register for a trademark in Canada you can:

  • Publicly claim ownership of your product and service
  • Control use of the trademark throughout Canada
  • Be provided protection against third parties using your trademark
  • Prevent others from adopting a similar type of trademark


2. Anyone Can Register a Trademark in Canada

While it’s certainly a great advantage to Canadians, this extends to far outside Canada.

Anyone from anywhere can register a trademark in Canada.

This is especially advantageous to US businesses.

And anyone looking for a way to get your foot into the US market’s door.

If you currently are using your trademark, you can avoid a step in the process of applying for a US trademark as you can avoid submitting any specimens of use to the USPTO. (US Patent & Trading Office).

But the US isn’t the only foreign market whose process becomes easier once you register a trademark in Canada.

Under the terms of the Paris Convention, all you need to do is:

  • File a trademark in Canada
  • Within 6 months file another claim in another member country

The foreign application can then claim a priority back to the date of the Canadian claim.

3. It’s Worth the Money to Register a Trademark in Canada

Take action now because it’s not going to last.

You probably have until the end of 2018 to take advantage of lower trademark rates.

After that, the recent amendments to the Trademark Act will take effect.

Right now you can register a trademark in Canada for one flat fee. No matter how many goods and services you may be registering under a single application.

After the Nice, Singapore and Madrid agreements take effect fees will be considered using a per-class basis.

When it comes to business, every dollar counts so invest in a trademark now.

4. Your Trademark Won’t Be Stolen & Held for Ransom

Right now if you register a trademark in Canada, you must use it somewhere.

But the Canadian trademark laws are changing.

Now is the time to register a trademark in Canada. It might cost you a lot of time and trouble in the future.

When the new laws are enforced it will enable anyone to register a trademark, but not use it.

Why would someone purchase a trademark if they don’t intend to use it?

Because they know you want it. That’s your trademark, after all.

And they just bought it legally.

And if you want your trademark back, they’ll make you pay for it. And it won’t come cheap.

Register a trademark in Canada now to ensure your trademark isn’t ransomed back to you.

5. You Can Register a Non-Traditional Trademark in Canada

There are new types of trademarks that will soon become legal.

While they aren’t your typical type of trademark, they certainly will be noticed.

Here are some of the new categories you’ll be able to register a trademark in Canada for:

  • Colors without delineated contours
  • Holograms
  • Moving images
  • Scents
  • Tastes
  • Textures

So what types of industries would benefit from these rather unusual types of trademarks?

  • Apparel
  • Film
  • Food
  • Beverage


6. You Can Protect Yourself Against Future Expansion

It’s a smart idea to register a trademark in Canada as soon as possible.

Especially if you have plans to grow your business.

By registering now you obtain exclusive rights throughout Canada in connection with your brand and/or services.

But the brand you’ve trademarked isn’t just there for show.

You plan on expanding and growing your business. You want that trademark to be recognized throughout Canada and possibly beyond.

So you protect your brand and your future by trademarking now.

Doing so will ensure that future competitors will be prevented from using your trademark or one similar to it.

7. When You Register a Trademark in Canada it’s Good for 15 Years

For the entirety of those 15 years, you alone have the sole right to use that mark anywhere in Canada.

To keep your trademark beyond 15 years you simply need to renew it.

But did you know that you can also own a trademark through common law?

If you’ve been associated with a trademark for a certain length of time, by law, it’s yours. But if you have to prove that in court, it could cost you a lot.

So it makes sense to register a trademark rather than tossing the dice and hoping you don’t encounter a costly legal battle.

8. Protects Against Imported and Exported Counterfeit Goods

The recent Combatting Counterfeit Products Act (CCPA) has taken steps to combat the rising level of counterfeit goods and pirated copies.

Some benefits to the CCPA act are:

  • Trademark and copyright owners may record their rights with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • The CBSA will then be on the lookout for any suspicious goods or products bearing similar marks or words
  • Further, the CBSA will then share their findings with the owner of the trademark or copyright so that the owner may take legal action.

However, you cannot do that unless you register a trademark in Canada.

9. You Can Adopt the .CA Domain Name Even Without a Physical Canadian Presence

If you want to do business in Canada, you probably want to build a website that will attract Canadian visitors.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages domain names.

They require you have a physical presence in Canada in order to obtain a Candian domain name.

But if you register a trademark in Canada, the CIRA will allow a foreign trader to apply and own the registration of a domain name.

Why would you want a Canadian domain name?

Most people aren’t as inclined to visit foreign websites to buy services or products, specifically retail.

Especially if they can buy the product locally.

What You Can’t Register as a Trademark in Canada?

While the list is expanding, here are some types of things that can’t be trademarked in Canada:

  • Names
  • Surnames
  • Clearly descriptive marks
  • Words that clearly represent a geographical location
  • Words in other languages
  • Deceptively misdescriptive marks
  • Words or designs that resemble a prohibited mark
  • Words or designs that resemble a trademark or pending trademark


What’s the Process Like?

The process to register a trademark in Canada can take between 12-18 months.

The trademark must be in use in Canada before registration can occur.

The application must include a detailed description of the products and services with which the trademark will be used.

If everything passes inspection the trademark is then published in the Trademarks Journal.

If, within 3 months of publication, there are no objections, the Trademarks Office issues a notice of allowance for the application of registration.

If the fee is paid within 6 months of the notice of application, the Trademarks Office will issue the certification.


Since trademarks are the highest level of name protection in Canada, registering a trademark is a great way to protect your business and brand in Canada.

But don’t delay!

Register a trademark as soon as possible to ensure you secure the rights to your business name. Otherwise, a conflict may arise which could force you to change your business name and your previous brand building efforts may be lost.



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