We strongly recommend that you conduct a trademark search prior to filing a Canadian trademark application.
You conduct a trademark search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not confusing with an existing Canadian trademark (if it is, the application will be rejected). Learn more about the basics of confusion in Intermediate Canadian Trademark Law.
A search frequently identifies potential problems with your application, and therefore, frequently saves you substantial time and money. If you file without searching, there is a strong likelihood that you will waste the $250 government fee entirely. Also, if you do not search very carefully, it is also very risky to invest heavily in marketing activities before the trademark has been registered.
The type of search that you conduct will depend upon your budget and your level of certainty that there are no pre-existing marks which are confusingly similar to your own.
The three types of Canadian trademark searches are:
More information about these 3 types of Canadian trademark searches is found here.