At the time a trademark application is filed, the applicant must exist as a ‘person’ or ‘legal entity’, as defined under the Trade-marks Act. This may be an individual, partnership, association, joint venture or corporation.
In the case of individuals the proper given legal name, in the correct order, must be provided with at least one given name. Any trading styles can also be incorporated in the applicant’s identification.
- Example: Homer Simpson trading as Simpson’s Doughnuts
The Trademarks Office will not register a trademark in the name of more than one individual or legal entity but an application may properly be made in the name of a partnership.
- Example: John Doe and Jane Smith, a partnership, doing business as Doesmith Enterprises
In contradiction to partnerships, where there is no legal identifier or designation of the applicant as an association, a legal identifier of the status as a legal entity or a designation as an association must be set out in the trademark application.
Trademark applications can also be made by two or more applicants who engage jointly in commercial activities.
- Examples: A & B, a joint venture
A & B doing business as a joint venture
A, a general partner, & B, a general partner, doing business as a joint venture
A trademark application must contain the full legal name of the corporation, which may be a private organization or a public authority, e.g., a municipal or provincial corporation or a provincial or federal statutory body.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office also accepts abbreviations or designations of foreign corporations and has set out a list of acceptable designations.
- Examples: ABC Pty Ltd (Australia)
ABC GmbH (Germany)