What’s in a Name? Trademarks and why you should care

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Well, Red Rose® for one would disagree with old Bill Shakespeare. That is why we find that small “R” in a circle after their name. That symbol tells the world that they have registered this trademark (likely in a number of jurisdictions) because they believe their particular brand of rosy red tea smells (and more importantly tastes) far sweeter than the other guys.

Furthermore, they have spent tremendous sums of money convincing the public that you simply won’t get the same warm ooey-gooey feeling drinking tea by any other name. They want to ensure that no other company can take advantage of the brand they have created and the goodwill associated with it.

That is the primary purpose of a trademark: it provides notice to others of your exclusive right to use the mark in the jurisdiction in which it is registered. It also demonstrates to the public that you intend to enforce those rights and that you have the tools at your disposal to do so. Registered trademarks can also add significant value to your business but that is a topic for a future article.

Contrary to popular belief, trademark registration is not exclusively the realm of huge corporations and is more affordable than you might think. Many small but growing businesses have registered trademarks. In fact, many marks are registered based on “proposed use” in association with products or services that are not yet even available on the market. While trademark registration tends to be an after thought, it would be advisable for many new business to think about trademark registration as part of their overall intellectual property strategy sooner rather than later.

If you have questions about Trademarks and whether Trademarking might be right for your business, contact Matthew MacGillivray at mmacgillivray@highlanderlaw.ca or 902-826-3070 for further information.