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How to protect your business ideas with trademarking?

Before, we get to preventing trolls from stealing your trademarks, allow me to assume that you are not familiar with what each type of intellectual property protects.

Intellectual Property rights and services are:

Copyright basically protects the contents or the ideas you create. It can be a painting, photograph, poem, novel, anything that is literary, artistic, dramatic or even a musical work. If you create it, you are the owner.

Patents give the inventor the legal right (for a limited number of years) to protect what he or she has invented to use and sell the invention. These inventions apply to new technology or improvements on products and processes.

Trade Secrets are business information that has value and gives the owners of the business a competitive advantage on the marketplace over other business. For example, the Coca Cola formula is a trade secret that is well guarded for centuries.

Trademarks are letters, words, sounds or designs or any combination that represent a company’s products and services from other businesses in the marketplace. Some call it the brand of their Company. Besides providing business association and reputation, they are an asset for every business.

In order to prevent these trolls from stealing your ideas and hard work, and for you to make money of these trademarks, there are 3 simple steps.

1. Register the trademark

In order to register a trademark, you need to ask yourself what message you intend to send out to the masses with reference to your products or services. Once you have identified your trademark, you need to register the trademark to protect your business reputation against the misuse of the trademark in accordance with the Trademark Act.

There are different types of Trademarks one can look at. The Ordinary Trademarks are basically words, designs or sounds that represent your business. A Certification mark relates to a characteristic of the certified goods or services, such as an indication of the origin, material, quality, mode of manufacture of the goods, or performance of the services. A Distinguishing Guise means shaping of the wares or their containers or a mode of wrapping or packaging wares, the appearance of which is used by a person for the purpose of distinguishing wares manufactured, sold, leased, or hired by it from those manufactured, sold, leased, hired or performed by others.

Once you have registered your trademark, the next step to work on is your branding to generate income.

2. Licensing or Co-branding your trademark

Co-branding is an increasingly popular technique used by businesses all over the world. It is the pairing of two or more products to form a unique product or to complement the use of the others product, for example, a fast-food company and a toy company.

Co-branding involves licensing or assignment agreements. The Licensing of a trademark allows others to use the mark without assigning the ownership. Trademark licensing is advantageous to both parties. Why? While the owner enjoys its rights to the mark by getting the royalties for its use, the person using the mark can expand its market operations by using the brand and developing its reputation.

Assignment on another hand, allows the owner to completely transfer his rights to earn royalties, or with restriction to the ownership of specific products or services. 

3. Securitization of trademarks

Securitization is a process where a certain type of assets is pooled together so that they can be repackaged into interest-bearing securities. In a nutshell, what it all means is that whatever future cash flow one gets from an asset is used as a guarantee for repayment of debts.

Securitization is a common financing tool for tangible assets but is gaining popularity for intangible assets such as IP. This will provide the owner another avenue to monetizing their trademark.

Contact our Calgary Incorporation Lawyer Today 

If you’re in need of an incorporation lawyer to help you protect any of your business ideas, please contact Giva Balasingam at Shim Law at (403) 476-2011 or book a consultation online.  

About Giva

Called to the bar in both Canada and Singapore, Giva’s Corporate Advisory practice straddles both Jurisdictions.

More than being experienced in drafting, negotiating, editing and reviewing various transactional documents that are highly complex in nature, she is also able to negotiate management contracts to achieve desired commercial and regulatory outcomes and is experienced in drafting strategic decision documents for her corporate, small business clients, environmental and civil engineering contracts.

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About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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