Should I register a Trade-mark?
No one has to register a trade-mark. Frankly, in some situations, trade-mark registration may not be worth your while at the current time. As a business owner, you need to ask yourself if you should register a trade-mark and if you think you should, whether you should register your trade-mark now or in the future.
As with any business decision, deciding whether to should consider the benefits versus the costs. As a business owner, you want a reasonable return on your investment. Weigh the time and costs of the application process against the value of the legal protection the registration will give you. What protection? On a practical basis, because of the searching that your trade-mark agent and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office complete to determine whether your proposed mark is confusing with another, some assurance should be provided that your mark does not infringe another’s mark and you will not be in a position where you will need to change your trade-mark. Also, registration provides you with rights that you can enforce against others that may infringe your mark.
In our opinion, the following factors favor registration sooner rather than later:
Investment of lots of money in packaging and signage
Large investment in marketing
Likely expansion beyond one location
Significant potential harm to your business if another business assumes a similar or confusing mark anywhere in Canada
Intention to franchise
Significant financial cost or lost reputation if you need to change your mark the future
On the other hand, you choose not to register a trade-mark if you carry on a small business in a single location that is closely associated to you. An example of this would be a sole proprietorship or small incorporated business.
Come see us at Avery Law Office to assist you in considering the decision regarding whether to submit an application for registration and the timing of that application.