Trademark Application As An Immigrant – All You Need To Know
According to statistics, immigrants that have lived in Canada for between 10 and 30 years have higher ownership rates for privately incorporated companies than individuals born in Canada. If you are a new immigrant and want to venture into business, you must consider registering your business’s intellectual property and making a trade market application at some point. This point can be when starting your business or after your business picks.
If registering trademarks is among the things on your near future to-do list, this guide highlights everything you need to know about it.
The Same Laws Apply to Canadians and Immigrants
Intellectual property registration for immigrants and Canadian nationals follows the same process under the law as long as you have legal immigrant status in Canada. The only difference will be the business registration process if you have not come to Canada yet and hope to immigrate as an investor.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) handles all intellectual property applications, including trademarks. Below is a simple breakdown of the trademark application process.
1. Filling Your Application
The first step in registering your trademark in Canada is going to the CIPO website and filling out an application online.
Alternatively, you can do it by mail or fax, but online is always the best. Your application must include your name and address, the trademark you wish to register, and the products associated with the trademark. You will also need to pay the application fee of $102.
But the $102 fee is not all there is to the cost of registering a trademark in Canada; it may cost you significantly more if you factor in hiring a lawyer. After paying the fee, CIPO will then enter your registration in its database.
Filing a trademark registration application doesn’t mean you have an automatic right to use the trademark. It has to undergo a process of examination to ensure that it is unique and does not infringe on existing trademark rights.
If there are issues with your application, you will be notified and allowed up to six months to respond.
If your application goes through, it will be published in the Trademarks Journal on CIPO’s website. If anyone opposes your application within two months of its publication and is successful with their opposition, you will likely lose your rights to use the proposed trademark.
However, you can file an appeal in a federal court. If there is no opposition or if arising opposition is dismissed, your application is accepted and entered into CIPO’s Register of Trademarks, and you receive a certificate of registration.
Trademarks Are Renewable Every Ten Years
After successful registration, you will enjoy exclusive rights to your trademarks in Canada for the next ten years. After ten years, you must renew your trademark registration by paying applicable fees.
CIPO allows trademark owners to renew their trademarks six months before the expiry of the registration period. Also, it allows a grace period after expiry, after which you lose your trademark protections.
Canadian Registered Trademarks Only Apply Within Canada
It is important to note that registering your trademarks in Canada allows you protection within Canada. To enjoy the same protection in other countries, such as the USA, you must register your copyrights with the country’s intellectual property offices.
In the United States, all IP registration applications are made through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While the process may be relatively the same, there may be some relative differences.
Also, a trademark may qualify for registration in Canada but fail in the US for several reasons. One such reason is where the trademark is unregistrable under US trademark laws or if another entity registers a similar trademark in the US.
The best approach when registering a trademark in several countries would be to establish that your trademark is registrable in all the countries you hope to have a presence.
Registering your trademarks is an excellent way of safeguarding your brand’s identity and reputation. If you are unsure where to start, it is best to talk to a reliable IP lawyer for help with registration.