People opt for a franchise for different reasons. While for some it is a less risky path to fulfilling entrepreneurial dreams, others enter the franchise league to create a niche for themselves by selling quality products and services. Whatever the reason, at the end of the day a franchise is a business and, like any other business, it has a host of intellectual property that adds value to it. Such intellectual property, be it the brand name, product, logo, symbol, etc., must be protected. Obtaining a trademark registration offers several advantages to a franchise system. It implies the reliable support that franchisees seek to have, certifies the quality of the good or service for sale, and ensures customers the reliability they seek elsewhere. However, there are many first time franchisors that do not consider the value of trademark registration. We give you a few reasons why trademarks are vital for your franchise.
Trademark registration provides you with exclusive rights over the mark across Canada for 15 years. This exclusivity conferred upon you helps you prevent the use of a same or similar mark by others. A registered trademark is listed in the country’s Register of Trademarks. Therefore, it serves as a notice to the public of your ownership and alerts competitors who seek to conduct business under the same or similar mark. It not only offers a monopoly over your mark but also allows you a competitive advantage in the franchise market.
As opposed to an unregistered trademark, a registered trademark in Canada offers you the benefit of nationwide protection. As long as you use the trademark in connection with the goods and services it is associated with, your trademark remains protected. Contrary to this, an unregistered trademark protection is restricted to geographical areas where it is used and known. Hence, trademark registration offers brand security.
Once you register your franchise trademark, the same or similar mark cannot be registered or used in the country for similar goods and services. In the event that a potential competitor attempts to use or register the same or similar mark, the registered trademark owner has a greater advantage than an unregistered trademark owner. A registered trademark owner can enforce rights – If a third party uses an identical mark associated with identical goods and services, or a mark that is similarly confusing to the registered trademark, or uses a trademark that depreciates the goodwill value of the registered one. However, an unregistered trademark owner can only enforce rights if the trademark has gained sufficient reputation and the infringement is prone to cause substantial damage.
The franchising system offers a license to use a trademark. As a licensor of a registered trademark, you have the power to control the quality of goods and services sold in association with the trademark. This way you ensure efficient operations and quality deliveries as promised to the audience. Additionally, the registration adds value in the form of reliability, faith, and quality to attract franchisees. This allows you to easily expand your brand use and reach.
All the above-mentioned points make it clear that trademark registration offers several advantages to your franchise. Hence, trademark registration should be considered an important step when entering the franchising business. Having a trademark agent assist can help you obtain and secure registration for your franchise’s trademarks.