Types of intellectual property: Trade-marks
- Industrial Designs
- Integrated Circuit Topographies
- Plant Breeders' Rights
Trade-mark registration gives you exclusive rights to words and designs (or a combination of these) that distinguish your goods or services from those of others. Your trade-mark can be registered through CIPO's Trade-marks Office. By doing so, you obtain protection within Canada for renewable 15-year periods.
Except in the case of precious metals, you do not have to register a trade-mark. Just using it can give you certain rights. Registration, however, gives you exclusive rights throughout Canada and enables you to better stop a potential infringer from using your trade-mark.
Trade-marks come to represent not only actual wares and services, but also the reputation of the producer. As such, they are considered valuable IP that gives the owner an important competitive advantage.
A SME may also profit from its IP by assigning its trade-mark right, licensing it or using it as another valuable asset to negotiate business dealings. In general, by licensing a trade-mark, the trade-mark owner allows someone to use the trade-mark as an identifier of similar products or services.