What’s in a Name?
We’ve all heard this old adage originally coined by Shakespeare. And let’s face it, despite the fact that a rose will smell the same regardless of what you choose to call it, I have a feeling that fewer people would be interested in it were it called a stinkweed. A name can be incredibly powerful and for a business or a product it can be an incredibly important asset. Think of all of the different names with which we are bombarded on a daily basis. Everything from the type of toothpaste we use, to the vehicles we drive or see on the road, the restaurants we frequent, the clothes we wear, our cell phones and the television shows we watch. All of these names, these brands, convey something to us and whether we intend it to or not, they ultimately shape our decision process. Consider, for example, the different brands of cell phone you can purchase today. There are purchasers who see a specific brand name and automatically make the decision to purchase it or reject it based solely on the name. It’s simple to see how influential a name can be and how important protecting that name is.
Protecting a name or brand is exactly what a trademark registration is for.While there is no requirement to register a trademark, there are substantial benefits in doing so. Without a registration, you have limited rights to your mark. With a registration, you are granted the exclusive right to use the mark across Canada and a registration can be used as evidence of your ownership in the event of a dispute. A registration also provides you with the opportunity to prevent competitors from using similar names and provides for additional causes of action in the event of a lawsuit.
So to answer the question,what’s in a name? Your reputation, the types of goods and services you provide and customer impressions are all synonymous with your name. With so much encompassed within it, it is easy to understand why some names are valued so highly.