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Making your mark in a competitive world

October 17, 2011 - Tags: Intellectual property, Marketing, Products

Istock 000005164183xsmallYou've started your own business; you've got a product or service that's sure to sell, you've chosen a great name, and you have a creative logo. You're all set! But wait... are you protected?

Trade-marks and copyrights are two types of intellectual property protection that can be important throughout the lifetime of your business. A trade-mark is a word, sound or design that distinguishes your product or service from others in the marketplace. A copyright gives you the sole right to produce a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in any form, or to allow others to use your work.

Although using a mark for a certain length of time can establish your ownership under common law, registration of your trade-mark provides stronger rights that can protect you across Canada. Registering your trade-mark protects your:

  • Business name
  • Website or domain name
  • Logo
  • Name of your product or service
  • Company slogan

The more you use your trade-mark, the more customers will associate your business with it, and the less likely they will be to confuse it with similar products or services. In the long run, using your trade-mark can help you retain the goodwill or brand equity that has been built up around your business. A registered trade-mark will protect you if someone tries to use a name that is similar to yours in order to make a profit.

Similarly, although your original works are protected automatically as soon as you create them, registering your copyright:

  • Provides evidence of your claim to exclusive ownership across Canada
  • Can help ward off potential infringers
  • Keeps you from infringing on others' rights
  • Allows others to find you when seeking permission to use your work

You can apply to register for a copyright or trade-mark for a fee. After registration, you may want to monitor the market, as well as the Canadian Trade-Marks Database and the Canadian Copyrights Database to prevent others from infringing on your rights.

Explore our Copyright and intellectual property section to learn more about the various intellectual property mechanisms that can help safeguard your original ideas, inventions and artistic creations.

Comments

I am on CPP Disability & ODSP. I have started a Small Business.
I am a Inventor & have 2 Inventions Approved for Patents. Now I need Money to Mass Produce my Inventions. I have had No Help from any Government. Provincial or Federal. WSIB owes me 5 Years of Income. But Refuse to Pay, I handed in a Appeal Last Week. I tool it to the Office of My Adjudicator &Handed; it to her in Person. I can not Believe I Can’t get help by any Government. I will be off the System & Creating Jobs.

By Jon on October 24, 2011

Hello Jon,

There are a number of resources you can look into for financing.

Our Grants and Finances section is an excellent place to start your search. Within this section, you can view or search financing programs offered by governments by selecting parameters such as your industry, your location, your demographic group and/or the reason you are looking for financing. The section also links to some community-based and private sector financing resources.

Our Steps to growth capital guide is designed to help you develop the plan, the materials and the confidence to go after equity financing.

Industry Canada also offers information on financing and licensing for inventors in the Technology Commercialization Toolbox, which is available online as a PDF or can be ordered as a free print publication. Here you might find some useful tips for the various stages of your process.

If you are still having difficulty finding business financing that is right for you, contact the Canada Business service centre in your region for further assistance.

Good luck with your business.

By Canada Business on October 24, 2011

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