Before we highlight the tips and tricks of conducting a thorough trademark search in Canada, let’s cast some light on why we do so in the first place. If you are looking forward to establishing a new business in Canada, you must remember to use a new brand name or logo for your company. In other words, as a business owner, you must ensure that the brand name or logo you plan to use still needs to be registered by a business offering products and services similar to yours. Therefore, you must engage in a comprehensive trademark search.

Remember, performing a thorough trademark search is essential to avoid potential legal disputes. Besides, it also helps safeguard your intellectual property. However, to conduct a comprehensive trademark clearance search, you need the help of a highly experienced trademark lawyer. Intelligent business owners often consult trademark lawyers associated with a reputed IP law firm like Shift Law.

If you want to learn all the technicalities in trademark registration and conducting searches in Canada, check out the Internet. You will get enough information. But make sure you use the right set of keywords, such as “trademark registrations in Canada,” “Canada trademark search,” “trademark Canada,” or “trademark search Canada.”

In Canada, the trademark registration process is administered by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).


You can consider the following steps to conduct a comprehensive trademark search in Canada:

Have Clarity on Your Goods & Services

Before you begin your trademark search, you should have complete clarity on the goods and services you want to register a trademark. Once you know which goods and services you would like to register a trademark for, it becomes easier to discover the relevant classes. If you don’t know what these “relevant classes” are, they are nothing more than the categories under which the Canadian trademark registration system categorizes goods and services. Altogether, there are 45 classes, so you must determine which classes your goods and services fall under. Determining the relevant classes is necessary for conducting a trademark search.

Hire a Trademark Lawyer

Since a lot of technical information is considered while conducting a trademark search, it’s better to hire a lawyer. They are fully aware of what to look for and what not to look for while searching. Besides, they use specialized tools and techniques to ensure your trademark isn’t similar to any existing trademark. Talk about variations of your brand name in other existing or phonetically similar trademarks; everything is checked thoroughly to ensure your trademark can maintain its uniqueness.


Carry Out a Preliminary Search

Conducting a preliminary search is highly effective. All you have to do is explore the Canadian Trademarks Database, a free online database, to discover similar to the one you plan to register. You can find information about all the registered trademarks in Canada through this database. Besides, it will also give you the necessary information about the pending ones. You can use information such as owner names, keywords, class numbers, and registration numbers to search for registered and pending trademarks.

Search for Common Law Trademarks

Searching for common law trademarks is essential when performing a comprehensive search because it protects rights. In other words, even if you haven’t registered your trademark in Canada, some of your rights will still get protected by the common law. Therefore, you must discover unregistered trademarks protected under Canadian common law. You can use social media platforms, online marketplaces, and industry directories to search for unregistered trademarks.


Examine the Report You Get After Conducting a Comprehensive Search

Once you complete a comprehensive search, you will obtain a report documenting the results. Ensure that you thoroughly examine this report and pay attention to potential legal issues. Remember, you need to make necessary modifications or changes or take legal advice if you find any conflicting trademarks. You seek legal advice so that you can identify how to proceed.

However, if there is no conflicting trademark, you can proceed and file an application with the help of your trademark lawyer. Remember, you don’t file an application with the CIPO until you are very sure about the uniqueness of your brand name and logo. While applying, you must submit your logo and your brand name. You should also submit the necessary information about your goods and services. Paying the application fees is also required.


You can only file a application in Canada if you conduct a comprehensive trademark search. The search is carried out to ensure you have a unique brand name and logo. Although trademark rights are protected by Canadian common law – it can only protect them to a limited extent. Therefore, registering a trademark becomes necessary; however, you must conduct a detailed search before doing that. It is imperative when establishing a new business or launching a new brand. Remember, your brand helps distinguish your goods and services from the rest.

But it can only fulfill this requirement if it’s unique. Otherwise, it will fail to serve its purpose. While conducting a trademark search, you must pinpoint potential conflicts to protect your intellectual property rights.


However, rather than conducting the search on your own, it’s better to seek the assistance of a legal expert like a trademark lawyer. They have all the necessary knowledge and competence to handle potential conflicts. It will be a mistake if you can use the CTD and do all the work related to trademark searches on your own. The more you rely on a legal expert, the faster you will complete your search. Besides, a lawyer is an expert in resolving conflicts, so if you face any, they will help you determine them fast.