A trademark is any mark that distinguishes a product or service provided by one company from products or services provided by others. Trademarks exist at common law by virtue of acquiring goodwill from extensive use, and it is not always essential to register a trademark. However, in some cases, registered trademarks may take precedence over common law trademarks, and registration of a trademark, whether used or proposed to be used, is recommended. In some countries, registration is mandatory for protection of a trademark.
A valid trademark allows its owner to prevent others from using a mark, in the country in which the trademark is valid, in a manner that would be likely to be confusing with the valid trademark. A registered trademark may be renewed indefinitely in 15 year periods by paying the appropriate fees.
Lambert IP Law has extensive experience in the filing, prosecution and litigation of trademarks in Canada, and in other countries.
For an introduction to some of the trademark services available on the web, the following websites may be useful:
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): www.uspto.gov
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): strategis.ic.gc.ca
Basic information may be obtained from these websites, such as preliminary searches for particular marks. Lambert IP Law cautions that it is not possible to understand the significance of a trademark document without knowledge of the relevant laws and experience in how the laws are applied.