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A trademark is usually a word, trade name, symbol, device or some other entity which is used to specify the origin of products or services and makes a distinction from the products and services of others. When you are interested in protecting a title or phrase, it is the trademark you want to secure. Trademarks can be bought, sold, and licensed.

When it comes to trademarking the brand name of a prescription drug in Canada however, trademark issues relating to the Trademarks Act are within the realm of the Canadian Trademarks Office are only the first hurdle. The Trademarks Act and Health Canada’s primary focus is to minimize confusion between other trademarks to ensure that one drug cannot be confused with another in order to prevent errors in prescribing, dispensing or administrating a drug to a patient.

Confusion between trademarks and copyrights is also common.  While you may have text and graphics in an advertisement covered by copyright law for instance, any new slogans or phrases that you want protected would only be secured if you trademarked them. Copyright does not secure a phrase, slogan or trade name.  A successful application for a trademark depends partly on a thorough review of potentially conflicting trademarks which are found to be deceptively alike.

Belmore Neidrauer LLP is experienced in the defence and prosecution of trademark rights in Canada, especially pharmaceutical trademark litigation. Our boutique firm is known for trademark opposition and expungement proceedings, trademark infringement, and anti-counterfeiting matters.

Infringement of a trademark can quickly diminish sales and cause irreversible harm to your reputation. You must act quickly if you suspect an infringement of your trademarks so that injunctive relief can be sought. If you face opposition to or infringement of a trademark you own or one you are attempting to acquire, please contact our IP litigation team today.

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