Maintaining Your Trademark Rights in Canada
It is essential that your trademark is used as registered. If your mark deviates from the version that you registered, you may not be fully protected and your registration may be vulnerable to cancellation for non-use.
What to do if your trademark changes
One option is to file new applications to register variants of your trademark. Alternatively, to protect the validity of your current trademark registration, the following strategies can be used to ensure that you are using the mark as registered.
Placement of the appropriate symbol next to the trademark is a way to distinguish the trademark from other wording. It also gives public notice of your trademark rights.
While there are no official requirements regarding trademark symbols in Canada, the following guidelines are based on industry practices.
The ® symbol should only be used with goods and services that are covered by the registration. If your packaging/marketing materials will be used in a country where you do not have a registration, you should avoid using the ® symbol to avoid penalties for misuse.
The ™ symbol may be used for unregistered or registered trademarks. If the trademark will be displayed on a product that is not listed in your registration, you may use the ™ symbol, but it is generally advisable to conduct a search before using a trademark with new goods/services.
The following examples would be considered use of the trademark COASTAL:
COASTAL® TRADEMARK SERVICES
COASTAL™ Trademark Services
Coastal® Trademark Services
The following examples would not be considered use of the trademark COASTAL:
COASTAL TRADEMARK SERVICES®
COASTAL Trademark Services™
TRADEMARK SERVICES COASTAL®
In the first two examples, the trademark would be perceived as COASTAL TRADEMARK SERVICES, not COASTAL. In the third example, although the symbol appears after the term COASTAL, it is immediately preceded by the word TRADEMARK SERVICES so consumers would perceive the trademark as TRADEMARK SERVICES COASTAL.
Font and Layout
Using different fonts and physically separating the words can also be used to distinguish the trademark from surrounding wording. Common strategies include displaying the mark in a bigger size and different colour and/or typeface, and on a different line than additional wording.
This is just an example:
If you have specific questions regarding use of your trademark in Canada or other countries, please contact a member of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org , or 604.687.7432.