Monitor Your Trademark
In order to get the most out of your trademark registration, it is important to regularly check whether anybody else is using your intellectual property without permission. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) does not watch for infringement. It is your job to safeguard your registered trademark.
In the event your trademark is being used without permission:
Whenever you find someone else using your trademark without permission, you have a choice to make.
- You can decide to enforce your rights, or you can choose to let it slide if it is not currently a problem.
- If you want to stop the infringement, you should speak to an intellectual property lawyer to discuss your options.
- Often a firmly worded cease and desist letter from your lawyer will be enough to let someone know that you mean business. Nobody wants a legal battle that they cannot win and people who were simply unaware of your trademark will normally stop using it.
- Obviously, if this does not work, you would have the option to force someone to stop using your trademark through the court system.
Precaution to safeguard your trademark:
- You should also watch for new trademark applications through CIPO. Sometimes an examiner will approve a new trademark application, even though it could be a conflict with your previously filed trademark. If you do not file an official opposition, the other mark could be registered without your trademark being taken into consideration.
- Certain lawyers and trademark agents offer services to watch for trademark infringement, but this can be quite expensive.
- Running a NUANS trademark report every few months is a cost-effective way to watch for new businesses and new trademark applications across Canada. Business Development Centre can help you with this.
The order form for a NUANS trademark search is available here.