The Basics of Trademarks For eCommerce Sellers In 2023 

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In the last decade, trademarks have become increasingly important in the eCommerce industry as more people enter the internet market. 

According to statistics, the e-commerce industry is set to grow by 56% in the next four years to reach over $8.1 trillion in sales in 2026, up from $5.2 trillion in 2021. With such a high number of internet marketers, it’s important to have identifiers such as your name, signs, logos, and slogans, which will help your audience distinguish you from your competition.

Once you have your identifiers, the next step should be registering these identifiers as your trademarks which gives you exclusive rights to use your identifiers.

What Are Trademarks?

Trademarks are identifiers that help eCommerce customers distinguish one brand from their competition. Trademarks can include names, logos, slogans, sounds, or any other type of identifier. 

Some aspects of trademarks, such as logos, and sounds, have protections by default as long as you are the creator. Creators of creative works of art have copyrights to their work by default. However, getting IP protections can help make fighting infringement much easier. 

Other aspects of trademarks, such as names and slogans, may not have any default protections because anybody can create a set of words, and there would be no way of claiming them as your own unless it’s a work of art, like lyrics to a song or a poem. 

However, if your names and slogans are unique, you can register them as your trademarks, giving you an exclusive right to use them for marketing your products or services.

Benefits of Registering Your Trademarks

There are many benefits to registering your trademarks. But all of them are aimed at protecting your brand from competitors. If you are unsure why you need to register your trademarks, below are some reasons. 

Protecting Your Business’s Reputation

Without sufficient protection, any other person can use your identifiers to ride on your reputation, but they may not be as careful with creating outstanding products. 

Unfortunately, the customer will not have a way of distinguishing your products from theirs, which can cause a dent in your reputation. With trademark protections, no one can use your identifiers, making you solely responsible for the reputation you put out there.

It Is Easy to Fight Infringement

As stated earlier, some aspects of you may have IP protection for brand identifiers that are works of art by default, such as sounds and logos.

But even then, fighting the infringement of these rights can be challenging if you do not have legal documents to prove ownership. After registering your trademarks, you receive a certificate that acts as proof of ownership, making fighting infringement much easier.

It Increases the Value of Your Company

Registering your trademarks allows you to use the © and ® signs on your brands which can significantly increase the value of your business. Also, these signs help improve your company’s perception when seeking financing from financial institutions.

The Process of Registering Trademarks in Canada

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is the body mandated with registering trademarks and other IP rights in Canada. Before submitting your trademarks for registration, you must ensure that they are unique by conducting a comprehensive search on the Canadian trademarks database. Having experts help you with your trademark search can make the process much easier and avoid the chances of getting your application denied. 

Submitting Your Application

Once you have confirmed that your trademarks are not registered, the next step will be applying for registration through the CIPO website. You can also go to their physical office to file your application. 

If everything is okay, your application will go through, and you will receive a registration certificate. On average, the whole process will take 18 months. Also, you will need to pay applicable fees depending on the trademarks you are registering and the products you intend to have the trademarks on. 

After registration, trademark protection runs for ten years, meaning you will want to renew the protections every ten years. 

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