Intellectual Property (IP) & Copyright a Guide for Canadian Businesses

Intellectual Property (IP) & Copyright a Guide for Canadian Businesses

All businesses, including e-businesses, need their ideas protected under the law. Intellectual Property (IP) is the legal avenue in which e-businesses are protected from other companies poaching their ideas. So, when your business comes up with an original idea that has added value to your brand, no other e-business can claim it is their own. Copyrights, Trademarks, and Domain Names are all part of Intellectual Property protection.

What are copyrights?

A copyright means that people have the right to copy something from your website, but that it is protected as the owner’s idea if it is their original work. When an original idea is produced, it is guaranteed to be protected under copyright laws in Canada.

The Copyright Modernization Act created in 2012, outlines how copyright laws have adapted to protect online platforms. These adaptations for users include: more leniency to incorporate copyright content in work that is neither for commercial gain or disturbing reputation; the ability to use copyright content in work if its purpose is for education, satire, or parody; allowing back-up copies to be made only if they are not barred by a digital lock or from an on-demand platform; and the illegality of breaking digital locks to access any copyrights has been specified.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a name or mark that is specifically connected with the product or brand that a business is selling, for example, a logo, design, brand name, slogan etc. An e-business owner is automatically supplied the trademark protection once it has started being used. There is also the option to make sure these rights are fulfilled by registering the trademark, which requires trademark protection from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

A business owner can protect their trademark and avoid the infringement of rights by paying close attention to meta tags and links. Meta tags are information about the business’s webpage, and while not displayed on the page itself, they are read by search engines and supply someone with content about a company’s website, which can easily be poached, and infringe on their rights. How a company uses certain links can also expose them to an infringement on their trademark rights. If a business links something that brings a user to any aspect of their trademark, the risk of infringement is possible.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address to a website. In other words, it is the personal link of a business’s website that people can search or follow to arrive on their page. Domain names can be protected under trademark laws and can even be registered under a trademark. Domain names cannot be re-used by any other business and once registered, become unavailable.

If you have questions about Intellectual Property, protecting your e-business, or protecting yourself from infringing on another business’s rights, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.