Is it Necessary to Register your Logo?

Register Your Logo

Logos can be invaluable to a company’s success. What would McDonald’s be without the golden arches? Nike without its swoosh? Pepsi without its Ying-Yang-like logo? Having a great logo doesn’t have to just be for big International heavy-hitter brands–a strong logo could be equally important for your company. Your logo will live on your website, your business cards, and any other collateral, so it’s crucial that the logo sets the right tone.

Logos mean different things to different companies, so you’ll need to consider whether or not your company logo needs to be registered, especially considering that the registration process can be a bit lengthy and there are costs associated. It’s also important to incorporate or register your business before officially setting up your logo. Our specialists can help with this process using any of the links below.

Master Business Licence

Ontario Incorporation

Federal Incorporation

What is a Logo?
A logo (short for “logotype”) is any graphic mark, symbol, or emblem used to promote public recognition. A logo can be anything from a colourful drawing to a stylized name. In many cases, your logo is your brand, so if you feel you have a nice looking one that represents your company, it’s probably worth the investment to keep it.

The Benefits of Registering
In Canada, registering your trademark or logo enters it into the database of Registered Trademarks and offers proof that you own it and that you have the sole right to use it for a period of 15 years, at which time you get the option to renew it for another 15 years, and so on. By registering your logo, you’re ensure that nobody else can use it without your permission. Also, if anyone attempts to challenge your ownership, the burden of proof will automatically be on that person. As the registered owner, the legal assumption is that you’re the owner until someone else reasonably proves otherwise.

Unregistered Logos
You do not necessarily have to register your logo to own it. By using your logo for a long enough period of time, you can come to own it by common law. However, if a dispute arises over your unregistered logo, you might end up in a costly, protracted legal battle. Furthermore, if you do not use your unregistered logo for a prolonged period of time, your registration could be removed from the register. If you have a company that does not advertise then you may not feel the need to register. However, it is often better to play it safe and register your logo. The small extra expense is often worth it for companies that place even a modicum of importance on their logo.