Trade Mark, Patent and Copyright Resources

There are two good reasons why you should be interested in trademarks, patents and copyright. Firstly, you want to protect your "intellectual property" from others copying it. A good name (product, company, service) can be worth a lot in terms of marketing effectiveness, recognition and brand awareness.

Secondly, you want to be sure that you are not violating someone else's protected intellectual property. This will avoid any legal action or hassles. It will also save you from the expense, time and effort of forced changes due to violating another company's trademark or patent.

Here are some very good Internet sources of information regarding trademarks, patents and copyright.
 

Canada

Canadian Intellectual Property Office provides you with all the information you need to know about protecting your intellectual property in Canada. You can even file your trademark applications on-line.

Canadian Trademark Database is available on Strategis and allows you to do an on-line search of all Canadian trademarks.

Intellectual Property Rights is a new web site put together by Industry Canada. It has a wealth of information including lists of free patent/trademark research sites, business intelligence sites and upcoming patents and trademarks.
 

United States

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides the information you need about protecting your intellectual property in the United States. You can also submit trademark applications on-line.

The U.S. Copyright Office provides a wealth of information and assistance regarding copyright protection of materials (including Internet content) in the United States.

The Patent Cafe is a very useful resource site providing hundreds of tips, links, articles and access to experts.

Free Patents Online is a new, free patent searching site. It has more data and features than many other similar sites.
  

Other Countries

Here are sources of information and contacts for some other countries:

Also, remember to search your name on the Internet using one of the major search engines such as GoogleYahoo, or Bing. This will tell you who else is using the name.