Copyright & Intellectual Property Law

What is the difference between a trade-mark, copyright, patent and industrial design? How can I protect my company’s intellectual property? What do I do if someone sends me a cease and desist letter? When can I use ™ or ®? What do I do if someone is using my name/trade-mark on their website?

In this session, Sharon Groom offers five good ideas on copyright and intellectual property law.

Download the handout of Sharon’s presentation.

A cautionary note

The foregoing text and video is provided for general information purposes only. It is neither intended as, nor should be considered, legal advice and readers and viewers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted. © McMillan LLP 2010.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Familiarize yourself with the different types of intellectual property (“IP”) protection available to you.
  2. Before choosing a trade-mark for your business, do some searches to see if it, or one similar, is already in use for similar services/wares.
  3. Once you have chosen a mark, register it with the Canadian Intellectual Property office, either yourself or through an IP professional.
  4. Use proper markings for your copyright and trade-marks to put others on notice of your rights.
  5. Have an internal process in place to periodically review new IP that is being used in your business, whether it is protected, and properly marked.

Five Good Resources

  1. Canadian Intellectual Property Office
  2. Canadian Trade-marks database
  3. Filing a trade-mark application
  4. Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
  5. Creative Commons

McMillan LLP

This Five Good Ideas session was made possible by the generous support of McMillan LLP.

Sharon Groom

Partner, McMIllan LLP

Sharon is a partner in McMillan’s Toronto office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law Group as well as its Competition Law Group. Her practice focuses in the areas of trade-marks, copyright, technology law and advertising and marketing law. Sharon has an extensive background in intellectual property having worked in private practice specializing in Canadian and US trademarks and copyright, as well as having been a Hearing Officer for the Trademarks Opposition Board. She also brings a wealth of international corporate commercial and business expertise gained as in-house counsel for companies in the financial services, publishing and technology industries. Her positions have included Senior Vice President, Risk Management and General Counsel, Americas, for Thomas Cook; Director of Legal and Administrative Affairs and Assistant General Counsel for Harlequin Enterprises Limited where she managed a global portfolio of over 2,500 trademarks. She has also held a position as Corporate Legal Counsel for Newbridge Networks Corporation (now Alcatel Lucent). Sharon is also an adjudicator for .ca domain names and regularly is called upon by Resolution Canada Inc. to determine domain name disputes. Sharon received her B. Mus. in piano performance and LL.B from Queen’s University.