A basic Canadian trademark search is a free direct ‘knock-out’ search of the trademarks register. This basic search is free has two important limitations:
a) It only looks for identical trademarks; and
b) The search is only of one database: trademarks registered in Canada and pending trademark applications in Canada. To add to the problem, the on-line form provided by the trademarks office is confusing and difficult to use.
Everyone should conduct a basic trademark search before filing a trademark application in Canada. You can conduct a free basic Canadian trademark search on CIPO’s website here. [Opens in a new window. Warning: this form is complex and confusing.] We conduct these searches for our clients if we have been engaged to prepare and file a full application.
A better Canadian trademarks search is a filtered search. The cost to conduct a filtered search is usually around $50 + applicable taxes. Turn-around is usually 1 business day. The filtered search is conducted using an algorithm that searches for Canadian trademarks which look or sound similar to your proposed trademark, and, includes searches of additional databases beyond the Canadian trademarks registry. In particular, it includes searches of the federal and provincial registries of corporate names and registered business names. The result is a 7 page report with dozens of Canadian trademarks, corporate names, and trade names registered in Canada selected by the algorithm as being ‘most similar’ to your proposed trademark. A thorough review of this filtered report will provide a very good indication of the prospects for success for your trademark application (not perfect, but much, much better than the knock-out search).
These searches are known as “NUANS” searches in Canada. There are many third party providers, or you can order directly from the NUANS service itself. The approximate cost is $50-$75. We do not conduct these searches for new clients.
We strongly recommend that you conduct a filtered trademark search before you file a trademark application in Canada.
In Canada, the best form of trademark search is a full common law search, conducted using the sophisticated search algorithms and widest set of data possible. The data searched includes, in addition to registered and pending trademarks in Canada, corporate and business names registered federally and provincially, and names in use on the internet and in phone directories and the like. These common law searches cost $750 and results are usually available within a week of ordering. We will conduct a full common law search for you starting immediately – please email us or call 1.866.297.1179 to begin.