But building positive brand awareness does not happen by chance. It comes with ensuring consistency in producing high-quality products that meet customer expectations and having identifiers that can help your brand stand out from the competition.
These identifiers can be business names, logos, symbols, and sounds used in marketing your products. In business circles, these identifiers are often referred to as trademarks.
Trademarks are your brand’s and business identifiers which help your audience tell your products apart from others. Sometimes trademarks can become so popular that they become synonymous with a specific product.
For example, Coca-Cola is a registered trademark for the Coca-Cola Company. While the company produces a wide variety of products, the trademark has become synonymous with coke, one of the many soft drinks the company produces.
But trademarks are not limited to names. They include logos, symbols, slogans, and sounds, among other identifiers.
Why Should I Register My Trademarks?
It Helps Protect Your Reputation
As your business picks, some unscrupulous manufacturers may want to ride on your brand’s reputation by using your trademarks to market their products. That means they will be eating into your market because the customers may not tell you apart. Also, their products could be inferior, which could hurt your reputation.
The best way of preventing other individuals or entities from riding on the reputation you have built over time is by registering your trademarks with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).
By registering your trademarks, you secure the exclusive rights to use them in marketing your products which helps protect your reputation.
It Changes Perceptions
After registering your trademarks, you can use the registered copyright sign ® on your products, website, and paperwork. To an outsider, the ® sign implies a serious brand that can help improve perceptions and, consequently, the value of your business.
For example, when recruiting talent, having registered trademarks can help attract top talent, as most employees want to work in a place that implies credibility. Having the right talent helps improve your products, increasing your business’s value.
Also, perceptions are very important when seeking financing for expansion. The ® on your loan application documentation will create an impression of reliability which can positively affect the level of financing you can receive from a lender.
The Trademark Registration Process
Conduct a Search
The first step in registering your trademarks is ensuring that your trademarks have never been registered in Canada and other jurisdictions where you want to have a presence. While you could handle this step independently, having an expert working with you is always best to avoid inconveniences that come with mistakes.
Filling an Application
After establishing that your trademarks are unique and registrable by CIPO, the next step is applying for registration on the CIPO website. After the application, CIPO will check to see if your trademarks meet the requirements. If everything is clear, your application sails through, and you receive a registration certificate.
Pay the Applicable Fees
CIPO charges fees for trademark registration which depend on several factors. These include your industry, the number of trademarks you want to register, and the different products you intend to sell using the trademark.
You will also need to pay professional fees, which can vary based on who you hire. On top of that, you will need to pay applicable taxes.
On average, the all-in cost for trademarks in Canada can be between 3000 to 5000 Canadian dollars, spread over the period it takes to finalize your registration.
How Long Do Trademark Protections Last
After filling out an application for trademark registration, your trademarks are entered into the CIPO’s database. But it may take some time to get a registration certificate which averages 18 months.
After successful registration, you get exclusive rights to your trademarks for a renewable term of ten years from the date you file your application.