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What are the Benefits of a Trademark Registration?

December 10, 2019

Tax Question:

What are the benefits of Trademark Registration?

Facts:

Filing an application for trademark registration gives you priority to your brand even before you have started using it: The filing date of your trademark application offers priority rights to the trademark throughout the country of registration, even if you have not begun to use your trademark. Generally speaking, the first to file an application gains a considerable advantage in securing rights to a trademark. For this reason, it is critical to start the registration process very early in your marketing plan.

Discussion:

Right to use registered trademark ™ ¨ symbol

Once registered you have the right to use the circle R symbol with your trademark. This gives notice to everyone else that your brand has the protective rights associated with registration. Without registration, you must only use the TM symbol for goods and SM for services associated with your brand.

Exclusivity to use your brand and to exclude others from using similar branding

Registration creates a legal presumption of the ownership and establishes a right of action against anyone who infringes on your trademark without having to prove that the infringer was trying to pass off their goods as your goods.

Statutory monetary damages

This is a meaningful right because without it you would have to be able to prove financial damage caused by an infringer or your mark which can be a prohibitively costly and time-intensive process. For this reason, statutory damages have the additional benefit of being a deterrent to would-be infringers.

Expansion of regions and product lines

Without trademark registration, your common law rights are restricted to the geographic region where you have used your trademark for the exact types of goods or services that you have sold with the mark. Registration allows you to expand into other geographic regions and potentially expand related product lines.

Right to the domain name

A registered owner of a word trademark has priority to the domain name that incorporates the registered trademark, subject to certain conditions. This right helps to prevent others from hoarding domain names without the intention of actually using those domains.

The assistance of customs and border protection

Both U.S. and Canadian customs agencies offer assistance to registered trademark owners through programs designed to sift out counterfeit products. These programs aim to stop the importation of unlawfully trademarked goods into the US and Canada.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Empire CPA team by filling out the contact form below.

Canadian and foreign tax laws are complex and have a tendency to change on a frequent basis. As such, the content published above is believed to be accurate as of the date of this post. Before implementing any tax planning, please seek professional advice from a qualified tax professional. Empire, Chartered Professional Accountants will not accept any liability for any tax ramifications that may result from acting based on the information contained above.

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