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Why It’s Important to Differentiate Between a Trademark and a Registered Trademark

(Chad Finkelstein – Montreal Gazette)

It is difficult to overstate the importance of a trademark to a business. As the means by which the general public identifies goods and services, a trademark is an extremely valuable asset, and the protection of it is of paramount importance to maintaining brand strength.

Recently, it was reported that the iconic Saint John-based Moosehead Breweries had sued a craft brewery in Vermont on the basis that its “Hop ‘N Moose” trademark for beer (including a logo that features a silhouette of a moose) constitutes trademark infringement.

One of the hallmarks of trademark law is that no trademark should be permitted to be used if its co-existence with another similar or identical trademark will confuse the public into thinking the goods and services of both owners come from the same source. As a result, when starting a new business or a rebranding exercise, or rolling out a new product or service line, it is critical to search the Canadian Intellectual Property Office database to confirm whether the desired words and designs are available. Click here to read more.

Related: Moosehead Files Lawsuit Against Vermont Brewpub Over Trademark (CBC News)