I often find that small to mid-level business owners assume that branding is for the bigger fish in the pond who have unlimited budgets and perhaps worldwide recognition. This is an unfortunate assumption because branding sets you apart from your competitors and it represents your promise to your customers. Regardless of the size of your business, you need to invest in your brand and protect it.
One way you can protect your brand is by seeking the assistance of the Canada Border Service Agency.
Believe it or not, the Agency has established a process that allows you, as a brand owner, to file a request asking the Agency to temporarily detain suspected counterfeit goods intercepted at the border.
- Ensure that your trademark is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
- You must then complete and submit the Request for Assistance application. The application details the specifics of your registered trademark(s).
- Wait for confirmation of enrollment and approval letter outlining the details of the program.
- Once approved, if suspected counterfeit products are intercepted, you will be notified and given the opportunity to pursue legal action.
What Should You Be Doing Now?
Since this program requires trademark registration, you need to first review your brand portfolio to ensure that the relevant registration is obtained. Once you’ve done this, you should reach out to a lawyer who will assist you in applying for trademark registrations and will also work with you to get the Canada Border Service Agency on your side.
Contact Sepideh Nassabi for questions or assistance with trademark matters at firstname.lastname@example.org.