Frequently Asked Trademark Questions & Answers
The following are frequently asked trademark questions and answers. These questions and answers are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute legal trademark advice.
- What is a trademark? — A trademark is a symbol, word, scent, sound or phrase that is used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one person (company) from those of another.
- How can I register a trademark? — To register a trademark in the Canada and/or the US, an application must be filed in that country with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and/or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- How long does it take to register a trademark? — The process of registering a trademark can take several months to a year or more, depending on the complexity of the application and the backlog at the government agency.
- How long does a trademark last? — A trademark can last indefinitely provided the mark continues to be used and the renewal fees are paid (typically every 10 years after registration). The trademark registration can be cancelled by a court or the trademarks office for non-use, or if the owner does renew the trademark registration.
- Can I register a trademark for my logo? — Yes, logos can be registered as trademarks.
- Can I register a trademark for my domain name? — Yes, domain names can be registered as trademarks if they are used in a trademark manner.
- Can I register a trademark for a slogan? — Yes, slogans can be registered as trademarks if they are used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of another.
- How do I search for similar trademarks? — You can search for trademarks by using the databases of the appropriate government agency, such as the USPTO or CIPO. You can also conduct a trademark search through a trademark agent search service.
- Can I register a trademark that is similar to an existing trademark? — It depends if the similarity is so close as to cause a likelihood of confusion between the registered trademark and your searched trademark. You cannot register a confusingly similar trademark, and you should not adopt and use a confusingly similar trademark.
- Do you have any Videos relating to the Canadian trademarking process? — Yes we do, please click this link for our Video.
- What is the difference between a trademark and a trade name? — A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase that is used like an adjective to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of another, while a trade name is the name under which a company conducts business.
- What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright? — A trademark protects your brand whereas a copyright protects the manner of expression for creative works such as books, music, and software.
- What is the difference between a trademark and a patent? — A trademark protects your brand whereas a patent protects the functional aspects of an invention.