The Registration Process
It is highly advisable to conduct a search before a trademark is used in the marketplace, or before an application is filed. The search would ideally include the Canadian federal trademarks register as well as common law sources such as company names, domain names and the Internet. A search can help to determine if there are any earlier rights which could pose a risk of confusion If a prior confusing trademark is located by the search, it may be best to select a different trademark, rather than invest in a trademark which might later lead to a costly legal dispute. It is recommended that advice with respect to a trademark search be obtained from a registered trademark agent.
Application for registration
An application for registration of a trademark can be prepared and filed by a registered trademark agent, who will also correspond with you and with the Trademarks Office during the multi-step process leading to registration. In most cases, at least a year may elapse from the day the application is first filed until the day the registration certificate issues. The owner may begin to use the trademark at any time, provided it does not conflict with other trademarks or trade names used or registered by others in the same field of activities.
The notation ® should only be used once a trademark is registered, however ™ can be used at any time. It is also important to indicate if the use is made by a licensee.