We are all familiar with trademarksthey are the words, symbols or designs
that identify the products and services of one organization or individual
from another. Perhaps an easy way to understand trademarks is to think of
the major automotive manufacturersthey all make cars, but each company
identifies itself with a symboltheir "brand"on every car they produce.
By their very nature and mass appearance upon consumer goods, trademarks
often represent a set of characteristics, such as quality or reliability.
The trademark therefore, is a protection of a corporate identity and a
To be protected, in Canada a trademark must either be registered with the
federal government, or used over a period of time to be established under
common law. Trademarks licenses do not endure forever, and must be renewed
after 15 years. Trademarks allow for a company to license out the use of
its trademark and keep licensees to a set standard of quality.
In Canada, the definitions and specifics of trademark legislation are
contained in the
Trade-marks Act and the
Trade-Marks Regulations, which ensure that this form of
intellectual property is protected for both organizations and individuals
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