If you want to protect the unique name of your business, website or domain name, logo, product or service name, or company slogan, you may wish to apply for a trademark.
What Is a Trademark?
According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office:
“A trademark is a combination of letters, words, sounds or designs that distinguishes one company’s goods or services from those of others in the marketplace. A trademark is unique. It is important to a company because over time, a trademark comes to stand not only for the actual goods and services you sell, but also for your company’s reputation and brand.”
There are three types of trademark registrations available to protect your business name:
Registration of a trademark can take 12 to 18 months.
Registration Takes Time
The registration process can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. But, once you register your trademark, it:
Trademarks are good for 15 years in Canada. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (the Canadian registry for trademarks) sends a notice when the 15-year period is about to expire. If the renewal application and payment are not received, the trademark is expunged. This means effectively that someone else could adopt your original logo.
Interestingly, a trademarked name can become so entrenched in our culture that they become generic. For instance the following words are all trademarked but are used in our everyday conversations: Aspirin, Band-Aid, Jeep, Kleenex, Lycra, Popsicle, Taser, Vaseline, Velcro, Zipper.
It May Be Worth Your While
Because of the time, effort, expertise and cost required to register a trademark, owner-managers wishing to register a trademark should seek counsel. The Internet lists organizations willing to assist for a fee.
Because lighting, heating and cooling represent 19%-25% of the cost of operating a commercial business, control of energy costs is essential to improving profit margins. A reduction of even 10% in these costs can produce a significant improvement. But, because Canada is located in a part of the world where temperatures can range from 40C below zero to 35C above, it is inevitably expensive to keep internal temperatures at levels needed to maintain comfortable working conditions through the changing seasons.
Setting the price point for your product or service is not simply the process of determining the cost of production then adding a mark-up. It is more a matter of understanding the price the consumer will accept as the value of your product or service and keeping the costs of production to a level that will give you a profit at that price.
The significant rise in the cost of equipment, vehicles, real estate, and inventory has prompted many businesses to increase business debt. Low interest rates, combined with the ability to obtain larger loans with extended payment terms, have allowed businesses to operate in a “business as usual” mode with less consideration for the actual cost of borrowing.
To give some idea of the effect of even low interest rates on an owner-managed business, the following key elements of most businesses have been put forward as an example of the effect of interest costs on a business. The effect of domestic borrowing has been added to show the full impact of current interest rates on the owner-manager. Since lending rates vary widely depending on a variety of factors such as risk, item to be funded and the term, and are usually negotiated, the interest rates used below have been chosen at random from Internet sources; calculations are approximate and for illustrative purposes only . All loans have been made effective June 1, 2017.