Are you ready to trademark your business name and logo, but you aren’t quite sure how to get started?
As a Canadian business owner (or an aspiring business owner), you have options for trademarking.
We’ve explained them below, so that you can choose which option best suits your budget and comfort level.
- Do-It-Yourself Trademark Registrations
The cheapest way to trademark in Canada is to do it yourself. Business owners in Canada can create an account with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and apply to register a trademark as a sole proprietor; or on behalf of their business organization.
The main advantage to this option is the financial savings at the time of filing. The only money you will pay is for the government registration fees, the total of which will depend on the number of classes of goods and services your trademark application covers.
While the initial cost savings may seem attractive to a boot-strapped business owner, there are a couple of drawbacks or risks that you should be aware of before undertaking a DIY trademark application. Most importantly, DIY trademark applications have a higher rate of refusal than applications filed by a registered trademark agent. If your DIY application is refused, you could end up spending even more to have an agent try to fix it, or if it’s not fixable, you could lose your government registration fees all together as they’re not refundable.
Nevertheless, there are thousands of DIY trademark applications filed every year in Canada. We think this option is best suited for applicants who:
- Are familiar with the Canadian trademark registration requirements and process (or have the time to research them).
- Have already searched the availability of their trademark and are confident it won’t be refused based on an earlier confusing trademark.
- Are clear on the goods and services you are selling and can fit them all within the Pre-Approved Goods and Services list.
2. Use an Online Trademark Application Service
The easiest way to trademark in Canada is to use an online platform. There are a couple of different online trademark application services available in Canada.
They include completely automated trademark search services, international companies offering to file your Canadian trademark application, and our own Markably® online trademark search and application service provided by Canadian lawyers and trademark agents. Markably® simplifies the trademark process, so that you don’t have to spend your time learning it to get a trademark. In just a few simple steps, we collect all the information needed to search, prepare, and file your trademark application.
Online filing services are a budget way to get help searching and filing for your trademark. The prices range from about $150 to $795, plus government registration fees. But it’s important to keep in mind that these services are only helping you get your application on file. You will still have to manage the rest of the application process on your own, which can take anywhere between 2 and 4 years in Canada.
An online trademark application service is best suited for applicants who:
- Have not yet launched their mark or are within the first year of business.
- Have conducted some trademark availability searches and have not identified any prior uses of their name or logo.
- Have an idea of the goods and services they plan to sell but have no idea how to classify and describe them for a trademark application.
- Want the added security that their trademark application complies with Canadian laws.
- Hire a Canadian Trademark Agent
The best way to trademark in Canada is to hire an experienced Canadian Trademark Agent to take care of the complete trademark registration for you. This method won’t leave anything to chance and is a great business investment.
A good trademark agent will review your marketing and business plans and craft an appropriate statement of goods and services for your trademark application. They will search the trademarks register and unregistered trademark sources and advise you of potential obstacles to your trademark registration (as well as potential liability for trademark infringement). A Canadian trademark agent can even help you trademark in other countries.
Compared to the other options, hiring an experienced Canadian Trademark Agent will cost you more upfront. For example, a complete Canadian trademark registration by Mason PC costs $1495 (plus government fees). However, hiring a Canadian Trademark Agent will save you time and can potentially save money on your trademark registration in the long run. Trademark Agent filed trademark applications move through the application process faster than DIY applications do, and they receive fewer objections and refusals.
Hiring a Canadian Trademark Agent is best suited for business owners who:
- Have been using their name and logo for more than a year.
- Understand the time and cost savings associated with hiring experts.
- Want the security and confidence of having a Trademark Agent who understands their business take care of their trademark registrations.
Trademarking does not have to be confusing or expensive. There are different levels of help available depending on your budget and confidence level.
If you’re looking for a less expensive way to get the expert help of a Canadian Lawyer and Trademark Agent, Markably® provides a fast, easy, and affordable path to headache-free trademarking.