We strongly recommend that you conduct a trademark search prior to filing a Canadian trademark application.
You conduct a trademark search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not confusing with an existing Canadian trademark (if it is, the application will be rejected). Learn more about the basics of confusion in Intermediate Canadian Trademark Law.
A search frequently identifies potential problems with your application, and therefore, frequently saves you substantial time and money. If you file without searching, there is a strong likelihood that you will waste the $250 government fee entirely. Also, if you do not search very carefully, it is also very risky to invest heavily in marketing activities before the trademark has been registered.
The type of search that you conduct will depend upon your budget and your level of certainty that there are no pre-existing marks which are confusingly similar to your own.
The three types of Canadian trademark searches are:
- a basic ‘knock-out’ Canadian trademark search. This is a search of the Canadian trademarks registry for identical trademarks; you can conduct a free knock-out search for Canadian trademarks here; we often conduct these searches for our clients, when we have been engaged to prepare and file a full application;
- a filtered Canadian trademark search. This is a computerized search of Canadian trademarks, as well as corporate names and business names registered in Canada, using an algorithm which attempts to identify names which are likely to look or sound similar to your proposed mark. It is known at a NUANS search. There are many third party providers who provide these services. We do not provide these searches for new clients; and,
- A full registry and common law Canada trademark search conducted using sophisticated algorithms and the results of which are then reviewed in detail by a qualified trademark agent. Order a full common law search from us by phone or email.
More information about these 3 types of Canadian trademark searches is found here.