Canada is on the brink of becoming the first country in the world to offer brand registration to its citizens.
The country has joined the European Union and is expected to adopt an e-registration system sometime in the next few years.
“In Canada, there are currently a number of services and tools available that allow us to track the brand and track the brands that are registered,” says Chantal Cote, the country’s director of business, regulatory and government relations.
“These are services that exist in other countries, but Canada is the first to offer them.”
In the United States, e-Registries.com tracks more than 10 million companies, including thousands of multinationals.
For example, a large company like Starbucks may register its brand with e-Registration Services.
In Canada, a company like Cote’s can register its name and logo on its website with the registration service.
The Canada-US partnership is the result of two decades of collaboration.
Cote says she started registering her company in the US in 1997, and in 2006 became a director of the company.
“We had to be able to get approval from the US Department of Commerce,” she says.
“The US Government requires all trademarks in the United Kingdom to have the Canadian version of the trademark.
So we had to register our name under the United kingdom.”
For Cote and other Canadians who want to create their brand, registering their brand on the US e-Register site will cost you a few dollars.
But that can be waived if the company has more than 20,000 registered accounts.
The company also has to make an application to register its mark in Canada.
For those who already have registered their brand in the U.S., registering on the Canadian site is a little easier.
But it’s not without its pitfalls.
“You have to go through a lot of hoops to get a certificate that you’re registered,” she explains.
“In Canada you need to have a business license.
In the US, it’s easier to do that by going to the US State Department.”
But it’s worth the effort.
There’s no reason not to register in Canada if you want to attract international attention, and if you’re in Canada and want to market your brand there.
And the best part is, there’s no charge for the service.
“If you want the brand in your country, you pay nothing,” says Cote.
“It’s not a cost that we’re going to pay for the services.”