Trademark or Copyright Law – Which one is best for you

Most people think of assets as being physical and tangible as a piece of land or house, but intangible assets like Intellectual Property can also fetch you income. That is why companies try to protect their Intellectual Property through legal means. They engage expert IP laws to do this.

There are many laws to help you protect your Intellectual Property. Some of them are Trademark Laws, Copyright Laws, Patent laws, etc. 

It is for you to decide -Trademark or Copyright Law – Which one is best for you?

If you’re a company that is looking to protect your intellectual property, then this blog post will help you decide whether trademark law or copyright law applies to your situation. If you are not sure which one best suits your needs, feel free to contact us for more information.

Trademark and Copyright- what is the difference?

A trademark is a name or sign that differentiates a product from its competitors. A trademark can be a name, word, phrase, symbols, sounds, colours or any combination thereof that distinguish the goods and services of one person from those of others. A trademark provides a means to prevent confusion in the marketplace by identifying the product’s source. Once registered, this name or logo cannot be used by another company.

Copyright is a form of ownership that an author has towards his  or her original work of authorship. This could be a story, essay, poem, novel, artwork, movie, sculpture, music, research paper, etc. A copyright protects creative expression from being misappropriated by others without permission.

Intellectual Property in Canada

Canada has an Intellectual Property Office that defines strict laws for Trademarks and Copyrights. It is an operating agency of innovation, Science and Economic Development in Canada. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office- CIPO governs the statutes for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs with their individual laws.

Trademark Laws in Canada

If a company registers its trademark in Canada, it can use that trademark for 10 years. No other company can use that trademark during this period. After 10 years, the company has to renew its trademark.

Once the company registers its trademark, it gets a certificate of registration. The trademark is now entered in the Register of Trademarks. 

Some companies use unregistered trademarks. This can prove risky if the company enters into a dispute with another over the trademark. That is why companies employ law firms to protect their trademarks with trademark laws.

While registering your trademark, you cannot use names, surnames, names of places or plants, etc. The trademark should be clear and not confusing. Only an expert law firm can take all  such precautions as it knows the Trademark laws

Copyright Laws in Canada

The Copyright law in Canada protects every creative work done by residents or citizens of Canada. This creative work. Includes literary, dramatic, musical, theatrical pieces or performances. It also protects performances and programs conducted as events in Canada. The Canadian copyright law is enforced in both Canada and its treaty countries as per the Berne Convention.

Once registered in Canada, the copyright is valid for 50 years after their lifetime.

Which is better for you-Trademark Law or Copyright Law?

If you’ve created a logo, design, app, video game or still-frame image for example, your best option is to register it as a trademark because this will give you greater rights. You can also use copyright law to prevent people from infringing upon your work online but registering the material could become complex and costly because many items are eligible for both protections (and depending on how the work was created) only one option may apply.


  • Trademark Laws protect company names, business names, product names, etc. They also include slogans and taglines or punch lines. Domain names fall under the trademark category
  • Copyright Laws protect the content of your Ads, Company profiles, Brochures and other written marketing material. They also include website content and blogs. Even your in-house software can have copyright protection 


There are certain areas where Trademark Laws and Copyright Laws overlap. For instance, protection of advertising copy needs both the laws. Trademark

Laws protect the names and slogans while copyright laws protect the written text. 

The same is the case for website content. Trademark Laws protect your domain names while Copyright Laws protect the text content of the website.

In such cases, you need an expert IP law firm to help you get the best protection for your intellectual property in Canada.  A seasoned IP law firm will be able to make the best of both Trademark Laws and Copyright Laws to do the best for your company in Canada.