WHAT PROCEDURES SHOULD YOU FOLLOW WHEN YOU WISH TO ADOPT A NAME, A LOGO OR A TAGLINE FOR USE AS A TRADEMARK?
(1) Determine if the mark is capable of registration and protection. For example, immoral, obscene or offensive words cannot be registered under the Canadian Trademarks Act. Generic words, the name of a person, their signature, and the flag of a country are also not allowed for registration.
(2) Do a search to determine if someone already owns the mark. Someone else may have had the same or a closely similar idea before you. You don’t want to have the unpleasant surprise of finding out that your trademark is not as unique as you had thought once all your letterhead, business cards, packaging, invoices have been printed and have invested substantial amounts of time and money in marketing a trademark that you may have to abandon. Search the Canadian trademarks database, available free of charge at www.cipo.gc.ca.
(3) Begin the registration process for the mark as soon as possible, either on the basis of “Use” (if you have already started to use it), or "Proposed Use" if you intend to use in the future. Consult a trademark agent who will provide you specialized advice on the filing requirements and will assist you in preparing an application that will lock in your exclusive rights as the owner of the trademark.
(4) "Police the Mark," i.e. set up surveillance procedures to watch for infringing uses and to take appropriate action to get them to stop the misuse.
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