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What is the difference between a registered trademark and a common law trademark in Canada?

In Canada, a registered trademark is a mark that has been officially registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and is protected by the Canadian Trademarks Act. This provides the owner with exclusive rights to use the trademark in connection with their goods or services and gives them the ability to enforce their against infringers.

On the other hand, a common law trademark is a mark that has not been registered with CIPO but has been used in association with goods or services in the Canadian marketplace. Common law trademarks can be protected by the common law of passing off or statutory passing off under the Trademarks Act, which provides protection against the use of confusingly similar marks by competitors.

The main difference between a registered trademark and a common law trademark is that a registered trademark generally provides the owner with stronger and more comprehensive protection, while a common law trademark provides limited protection and can be more difficult to enforce. In is important to note that a registered trademark is only a presumption of validity that can be challenged.

If you are considering protecting your trademark in Canada, you should consider applying to register your mark with CIPO to gain the benefits of trademark registration. However, if you have been using your trademark in Canada but have not registered it, you may still have some protection under the common law of passing off.

As with any legal step, including applying for a trademark registration and enforcing a trademark registration there are advantages and risks.

Consider seeking legal advice to help you navigate the various forms of intellectual property to help you protect your ideas and business. A trademark lawyer can help you understand your options and develop a strategy to protect your intellectual property.

Curated by Lomic Law and written by ChatGPT powered by OpenAI as part of Lomic Law's strategic use of technology to assist its clients.


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