Brand owners out there – get ready, big changes may be coming to Canada’s trade-marks laws, and some of them aren’t pretty. Some of them are really good developments, as well, that will put us in step with international intellectual property law norms, but all of them are going to dramatically alter the way we view trade-mark protection in this country from now on.
If you are a restaurant owner, you need to understand not only how your (old) trade-marks are protected and rights to them enforced, but also how your (new) trade-marks will be applied for and registered in the future. After all, these marks are your notice to the world that you are doing business under them and that they are not available for use in connection with similar products and services. This is especially true if you are a franchisor, or have plans to become a franchisor, since you are also a licensor of your brand and need to ensure it’s as protected as possible.