Intellectual
Property

We help you define a long-term strategy to ensure the value of your creations and ideas is protected globally.

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Intellectual property refers to the legal protection of creations of the mind, such as inventions, artistic works, symbols, names, or images. This protection gives the owner an exclusive right to use, control and benefit from their intellectual property. They can also prevent others from using it without their permission. Examples of intellectual property include trademarks, logos, slogans, paintings, movies, books and inventions.

What is Intellectual Property?

Benefits of registering a trademark

Our Solutions

Your intellectual property can be leveraged to expand the value of your company, as well as your market share in the specific industry. We work closely with you to ensure the business value of your intellectual property increases, all while ensuring its protection against counterfeiting and infringement.

Copyright and Digital Media

What is copyright?

Copyright means the right to produce, reproduce, perform, or publish an original work or a substantial part of an original work.Canada’s Copyright Act protects original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work from infringement. This means that if you create an original work, you own the copyright to the work and no one else can produce, reproduce, perform, or publish it without your permission.

Trademarks

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign, brand, or symbol that is used to distinguish a person’s or company’s goods and services from others. It can be a combination of letters, words, sounds, colours, designs and more.

  • Copyright filing and registration with CIPO and USPTO
  • Conducting Copyright Titles Searches
  • Drafting commercial agreements related to copyrights such as Copyright Assignment, Copyright Transfers, Copyright Licenses
  • Advising on the treatment and management of copyright in an employment context
  • Development of copyright protection and commercialization strategies
  • Counselling in relation to copyright infringement and user rights such as fair dealing
  • Domain name enforcement and surveillance
  • Trademark availability search and registrability opinion
  • Trademark Registration
  • Trademark licensing and franchising
  • Trademark compliance with the Charter of the French Language
  • Development of trademark protection and commercialization strategies
  • Counselling in relation to trademark infringement, unfair competition and violation
  • Enforcing intellectual property rights online, such as claiming social media usernames and handles or reporting infringement
  • Advising on unfair business practices such as keyword advertising and use of trademarks in online advertising

Process to Register a Trademark

Meet our awesome team

With a strong background in software engineering and 8 years of experience in corporate and commercial law, Robert focuses on counselling clients in the technology and start-up industries by helping them with commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and contract drafting and negotiation.

Robert Zalcman

Senior Associate
BEng, BCL, LLB, LLM

Bianca is an Emerging Technology Lawyer and her practice focuses on providing strategic and sustainable ways for artists and businesses to benefit from blockchain technology. Prior to joining the firm, she completed a dual master's degree in Intellectual Property Law and Emerging Technology. When she's not at the office, you can probably find her at 0x Society, the crypto art gallery she co-founded!

Bianca Lessard

Associate
LLL, LLM

Before starting a degree in law, Toufic did a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management, serving him a great deal in analyzing the regulatory issues affecting the Canadian digital asset and blockchain market. Though entrepreneurship was always his passion, it will forever be cemented as plan B after a miserable failed attempt at playing football for Chelsea F.C.

Toufic Adlouni

Co-founder, Managing Director
BPAPM, LLB

With a strong background in software engineering and 8 years of experience in corporate and commercial law, Robert focuses on counselling clients in the technology and start-up industries by helping them with commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and contract drafting and negotiation.

Robert Zalcman

Senior Associate
BEng, BCL, LLB, LLM

Throughout all his endeavours, David has always placed team building and leadership at the forefront of his work, all while leveraging the latest in technology to achieve his personal goals. The desire to do this at a larger scale is what led David to launch companies that are disrupting the traditional legal landscape and spearhead Canada’s first digital law firm.  

David Oram

Co-founder, Chief Business Officer
iBBA, BSc

Prior to joining the firm, Aaron was an equity partner at Aird & Berlis. He is also the Co-Founder of 4L Academy 🎓, a training organization that provides modern, interactive training for young Canadian lawyers and law students. His practice focuses on M&A and tech, though he also works with a broad range of clients on corporate and commercial matters.  

Aaron Baer

'Partner' and Director of Training & Development
JD

Pouya is a forward-thinking business lawyer with a keen interest in innovative and disruptive technologies. Specializing in blockchain and digital assets, Pouya is an associate primarily practicing in the tech industry. With a JD from the U of T and a background in philosophy, you’ll never find a dull conversation with him. When he's not doing law, he's probably spinning beats or organizing parties. 🎉

Pouya Makki

Associate, Securities & Crypto Asset Law
JD

Michael is a venture technology lawyer with a background in mechanical engineering. Michael brings the legal experience of having worked at a large international law firm, advising clients in a variety of technology verticals with M&A, purchase agreements, VC financing and commercial agreements. As a SaaS founder in the legaltech space, Michael is passionate about working with promising technology startups and helping them grow.

Michael Cain

Associate, Venture Technology
BASc, JD

Bianca is an Emerging Technology Lawyer and her practice focuses on providing strategic and sustainable ways for artists and businesses to benefit from blockchain technology. Prior to joining the firm, she completed a dual master's degree in Intellectual Property Law and Emerging Technology. When she's not at the office, you can probably find her at 0x Society, the crypto art gallery she co-founded!

Bianca Lessard

Associate
LLM

Ari is living proof that no one can help startups better than entrepreneurs themselves. As an LLP and founder of several companies, ones including Nanaglow Skincare, Ari brings his experience and expertise to provide the best tailor-made legal services to every client. With the philosophy of leading without a title, Ari continuously exceeds expectations through knowledge, energy and perseverance.  

Ari Mike Varjabedian

Junior Associate
LLB

Alexandra is a second-year law student at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law with a passion for emerging technologies. Throughout her undergrad and law school, she worked in cybersecurity for the Government of Canada. In addition to this, she has worked with multiple refugee law organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. When she’s not working, she’s either cooking or trying out new restaurants. 

Alexandra Faircloth

Student Associate
2nd Year LLB

Dhawal has been training lawyers across the globe on how to do business development effectively through Build Your Book. He comes with nearly a decade's experience doing sales and marketing at Fortune 100 and tech startup companies. He is the winner of the Drucker Challenge and a leader of tomorrow from the Swiss Symposium. In his spare time, he is an avid reader, writer, and dad joke connoisseur.

Dhawal Tank

Head of Business Development
HBA, MBA

Trent helps high-growth companies to commercialize and scale their operations while keeping mindful of the legal risks (and challenges) and navigating them effectively. He loves curling and the Blue Jays.

Trent Skanes

Director of Data Privacy & Fractional GC Services
Meet

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Why us?

We have in-depth expertise

Our clients rely on us to strategically protect and enforce their intellectual property rights, especially in the emerging technologies and digital sector, where we have successfully developed expertise. Whether you need intellectual property assistance with NFTs, crypto, blockchain (or any other technology, really) our specialized lawyers are here to assist you. We have in-depth knowledge and an extensive understanding of emerging technologies and changing markets across our firm to help you achieve your business goals.

With the rise of the Internet and digital mediums, intellectual property is exponentially easier to infringe upon. With a professional, you can ensure your intellectual property will be protected from illegal infringement.

Our legal advice will always be accessible and reflect our extensive expertise working in technology and digital media industries. Through their various endeavours in the digital sector, our lawyers are always up-to-date on recent legal developments affecting intellectual property rights.

We’re not your typical law firm

At Renno & Co, you can forget everything you’ve experienced at other law firms. We pride ourselves in being a modern law firm, using technologies to make our processes not only easier for you, but also less costly. We strive to offer comprehensive, accessible and responsive counsel on intellectual property matters.

Testimonials

Our clients, our pride

Right from the start, I knew that the Renno team had people who could think outside the box to help build our business. They consistently act like partners and team members, not as external professionals. I know they are invested in our success, and that gives me confidence. They have become some of my favourite people to work with!

Lisa Loud
FluideFi

What I care most about is getting practical business answers to my questions and challenges. Someone who can understand our business quickly, and work well with our way of doing business. The Renno & Co team is both practical and responsive. They understand my reality and know how to create value for my team.

Lorne Sugarman
CEO, Metaverse Group

Most business deals die because legal teams are not responsive enough, or they draw out a problem over a long period of time. The Renno team is not like this. They help us get things done, on time. They help us notice the blind spots, and don't get bogged down on the unimportant factors. This makes a big difference in our fast-moving industry.

Deven Soni
COO, Tokens.com

The team at Renno is reliable, efficient and professional. We always feel like a priority when we work with Renno. The team always assesses every situation and presents us with multiple solutions and scenarios. There are very few quality Web3 firms that truly understand the market and our needs. Renno is a trusted partner with high knowledge in the space.

Anne Ouellet
Chief Marketing Officer, Galxe

We reached out to 15 law firms before picking Renno & Co. With big law firms, people are unresponsive, you have to talk one thing to one guy, and another thing to another guy, and they don't talk internally. The Renno team gave us work with a personal touch. They understood what we did right away, because they are in this space. They focus on giving practical advice and solving problems before they appeared.

Filip Primec
Nicehash

It's great to work with Renno for our North American work. As a law firm deeply entrenched in the same space as us, we are able to frequently collaborate on problems and opportunities in this space. I have been impressed with their quality of work and their responsiveness.

Mario Casiraghi
SingularityNET

I wanted to work with a tech-driven law firm based on a strong relationship. The Renno team was open to doing it this way. Being able to scale up as we have grown up has been very valuable to us. Not a lot of law firms can scale up and continue being this responsive.

Brad Yasar
EQIFI

To build a business, you have to act fast. Other law firms I'd spoken with would take 2-3 days to get back to us. And I had no idea what I'd get billed. The Renno team was not like this. They know how to be responsive, give me practical answers, without me worrying about some large surprise bill! They've been instrumental in helping us get setup and grow.

Konrad Baj
Done.com

Right from the start, the Renno team have acted as partners and friends to our business who give us timely and smart advice. Renno & Co is focused on growing alongside us. Working with this team is like a breath of fresh air because we know we can get reliable help when we need, how we need it.

Alex Daskalov
kn0x.io

You have questions about intellectual property?

Let's chat

Frequently asked questions

Canada
What is a trademark?
Simply put, a trademark is a combination of letters, words, sounds or designs that help consumers distinguish one company’s goods or services from others. A trademark is an important asset for a company. Over time, it becomes a part of your company’s identity, reputation and brand. Registering your trademark means that you gain exclusive rights to use it across the country for a period of 10 years (renewable indefinitely). It also means that you can keep other companies from using an identical trademark, but also similar or potentially confusing marks. Registering a trademark helps to prevent any infringement or confusion with your trademark so that consumers will only associate your trademarks with your products and services.
What is the difference between trademarks, patents and copyright?
Trademarks are words, logos, sounds or designs that help consumers identify the source of a product or service. They protect the brand and reputation of the company.

Copyright provides protection for original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs), under certain conditions. It grants an exclusive right to the copyright owner to control how the work is used in order to protect its value.

Patents protect new and useful inventions (product, composition, machine, process) or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
How long is the trademark registration process?
In Canada, filing a trademark registration is a fairly quick process. It will take less than a week. However, obtaining the trademark registration may take up to three years, and even more.
How long will my trademark be protected?
A trademark registration in Canada will last for 10 years. To maintain a trademark registration, you must pay a renewal fee every 10 years. Failing to do so will result in the expungement of your trademark from the Register of Trademarks. We will send you a notice with information about your renewal payment deadline, when the time comes. It is important to keep us informed of any change of email addresses or phone numbers during that time period.
Can I protect a logo and a word as trademarks?
Yes. You have many options. You can either trademark both separately, or you can even trademark them together as one trademark.

However, if you trademark both as one trademark, note that you will be limited to receiving protection only for the trademark showing both the word(s) and the logo. In other words, you will not be protected when only using the word(s) or only the logo.

If you want to be able to protect a logo and word(s) separately, in order to show just the word on its own, or just the logo on its own, it would be recommended to apply for each of these trademarks separately, which will also provide you with a broader protection.
Once I file my trademark application, can I amend it?
It depends on what the amendment is. For example, amending the applicant’s name where a trademark application incorrectly identifies them would generally be possible. However, modifying the description of a trademark is usually not allowed (although there are some exceptions). If you need to make any amendments to your trademark application, please reach out to us.
Will my trademark be protected worldwide?
Registering for a trademark in Canada with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will only provide protection across Canada. Same goes for registering a trademark in the United States with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If you are interested to protect your trademark in more than one country, filing it with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) could be an option. Please reach out to us for more information on that matter.
What are the benefits of registering a trademark?
There are plenty of benefits for registering a trademark in Canada.
  • It provides an exclusive right to use the trademark across the country. This means that no one else in Canada can use an identical, similar, or potentially confusing trademark.
  • It can not only increase the credibility and reputation of the brand, but it will also increase its value. As an example, Forbes valued the Apple brand at $205.5 billion dollars in 2020. Since its inception, Apple has registered over 1,000 trademarks! The value of trademarks can easily be quantified because they consist of intangible intellectual property assets that can be added to your company’s balance sheet.
  • It provides you with a wide protection across the whole country for 10 years, renewable indefinitely.
  • It can enhance your ability to enforce your rights. This means that it may be easier to prevent other people from using or infringing on your trademark, and also less expensive because of the evidence created by registering a trademark.
  • It is possible to benefit from the assistance of the Canadian Border Services to monitor for and detect counterfeit products at the Canadian border.
  • It could help to recover domain names and social media handles.
  • It allows to use the ® symbol in conjunction with your trademark to make it clear to everyone that the trademark is registered. This symbol is reserved to registered trademarks only, while the ™ symbol is available to anyone using a trademark, whether registered or not.
  • Bonus for Québec companies: owning a registered trademark allows to benefit from an exception to the Québec Charter of the French Language and permits the use of an English trademark in Québec without the need to translate.
When should I register my trademark?
Depending on the registrability of your brand and how long you have been using your trademark, it is always better to file as soon as possible.

If you are already using the trademark, it would be best to file a registration as soon as possible. Other people could easily register the same trademark if you don’t.

Of course, start-ups and small businesses don’t always have the budget to spend on a trademark registration. On the other hand, they spend a lot of money on building their brand and/or product. It would be a shame to waste this investment if the trademark were to be unavailable or if someone copied it.

This is why it is very important to conduct due diligence before registering a trademark. You can already start by searching the word(s) you intend to trademark (and similar word(s)) on search engines like Google. You can also search on the publicly available database of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

The next step is to conduct a pre-filing search, which will analyze the risk of registering your trademark based not only on identical trademarks, but also potentially confusing or similar ones. This pre-filing search is conducted by a trademark agent and provides you with a detailed legal opinion whether it is possible or advisable to register your trademark. Pre-filing searches are not mandatory, but they could save your business a lot of money down the line. If you are interested in obtaining a pre-filing search prior to registering your trademark, let us know.

Ultimately, filing for a trademark registration is an important business decision. It is important to weigh the potential value of doing so, but also the legal risks that exist. Our team is available to help you with assess the pros and cons of registering a trademark.
What is the difference between the ™ symbol and the ® symbol?
The symbol can be used by businesses to notice to others that they are using particular words, logos, phrases, or designs as a trademark or service mark. It is not required to have a registered trademark to use the symbol and it can be used when you have applied for a trademark, but it is not registered yet.

Once a company successfully registers its trademark, it can then start using the ® symbol, which stands for “registered trademark”.

The ® symbol indicates to competitors, third-parties and consumers that such trademark is registered and the owners has the exclusive right to use it.
Is it more important to trademark a name or a logo first?
As a reminder, trademarks can be business names, designs, logos, sounds, or even combinations of such elements. They act as a source indicator of the goods and services offered by a company.

Each of these elements would normally constitute a separate trademark, which can raise the costs of registration significantly. For start-ups and small businesses who may only have the ressources to file for one trademark, it can be a difficult decision.

Yet, it remains a strategic business decision to take. For many companies, the first and most important indicator of the source of the services or goods will be the business name. Strategically, it may be a good decision to first ensure your business name is strongly associated with your brand. Then, once you have additional monetary resources, it is never too late to file for additional trademarks such as logos, slogans or other designs.

However, the most important question to ask yourself is whether your company’s name or your logo is the stronger indicator of the goods and services that you offer. As such, this decision can vary from one company to another and will depend on your specific situation. Our team is available to help you determine the best strategy according to your budget and your goals.
United States
What is a trademark?
Simply put, a trademark is a combination of letters, words, sounds or designs that help consumers distinguish one company’s goods or services from others.

A trademark is an important asset for a company. Over time, it becomes a part of your company’s identity, reputation and brand.

Registering your trademark means that you gain exclusive rights to use it across the country for a period of 10 years (renewable indefinitely). It also means that you can keep other companies from using an identical trademark, but also similar or potentially confusing marks.

Registering a trademark helps to prevent any infringement or confusion with your trademark so that consumers will only associate your trademarks with your products and services.
What is the difference between trademarks, patents and copyright?
Trademarks are words, logos, sounds or designs that help consumers identify the source of a product or service. They protect the brand and reputation of the company.

Copyright provides protection for original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs), under certain conditions. It grants an exclusive right to the copyright owner to control how the work is used in order to protect its value.

Patents protect new and useful inventions (product, composition, machine, process) or any new and useful improvement to an existing invention.
How long is the trademark registration process?
In the United States, filing a trademark registration is a fairly quick process. It will take less than a week. However, obtaining the trademark registration can take 12 to 18 months, but it can take longer, especially if an application is filed on the basis of an earlier filed Canadian trademark application.
How long will my trademark be protected?
In the United States, a trademark registration is valid indefinitely, as long as you timely file all required maintenance documents. You must file a "Declaration of Use" and pay a fee between the 5th and 6th year after registration. In addition, you must renew your trademark registration and pay a renewal fee every 10 years after registration. We will send you a notice with information about your renewal payment deadline, when the time comes. It is important to keep us informed of any change of email addresses or phone numbers during that time period.
Can I protect a logo and a word as trademarks?
Yes. You have many options. You can either trademark both separately, or you can even trademark them together as one trademark.

However, if you trademark both as one trademark, note that you will be limited to receiving protection only for the trademark showing both the word(s) and the logo. In other words, you will not be protected when only using the word(s) or only the logo.

If you want to be able to protect a logo and word(s) separately, in order to show just the word on its own, or just the logo on its own, it would be recommended to apply for each of these trademarks separately, which will also provide you with a broader protection.
Once I file my trademark application, can I amend it?
It depends on what the amendment is. For example, amending the applicant’s name where a trademark application incorrectly identifies them would generally be possible. However, modifying the description of a trademark is usually not allowed (although there are some exceptions). If you need to make any amendments to your trademark application, please reach out to us.
Will my trademark be protected worldwide?
Registering for a trademark in Canada with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will only provide protection across Canada. Same goes for registering a trademark in the United States with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If you are interested to protect your trademark in more than one country, filing it with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) could be an option. Please reach out to us for more information on that matter.
What are the benefits of registering a trademark?
There are plenty of benefits for registering a trademark in Canada.
  • It gives you the right to bring a lawsuit concerning the trademark in federal court.
  • It creates a legal presumption that you own the trademark and have the right to use it. So, in federal court, your registration certificate proves ownership, eliminating the need for copious amounts of evidence.
  • You can use your registration as a basis for filing for trademark protection in foreign countries.
  • It provides an exclusive right to use the trademark across the country. This means that no one else in the United States can use an identical, similar, or potentially confusing trademark.
  • It can not only increase the credibility and reputation of the brand, but it will also increase its value. As an example, Forbes valued the Apple brand at $205.5 billion dollars in 2020. Since its inception, Apple has registered over 1,000 trademarks! The value of trademarks can easily be quantified because they consist of intangible intellectual property assets that can be added to your company’s balance sheet.
  • It provides you with a wide protection across the whole country for 10 years, renewable indefinitely.
  • It can enhance your ability to enforce your rights. This means that it may be easier to prevent other people from using or infringing on your trademark, and also less expensive because of the evidence created by registering a trademark.
  • It is possible to benefit from the assistance of the United States Customs and Border Protection to monitor for and detect counterfeit products at the United States border.
  • It could help to recover domain names and social media handles.
  • It allows to use the ® symbol in conjunction with your trademark to make it clear to everyone that the trademark is registered. This symbol is reserved to registered trademarks only, while the ™ symbol is available to anyone using a trademark, whether registered or not.
When should I register my trademark?
Depending on the registrability of your brand and how long you have been using your trademark, it is always better to file as soon as possible.

If you are already using the trademark, it would be best to file a registration as soon as possible. Other people could easily register the same trademark if you don’t.

Of course, start-ups and small businesses don’t always have the budget to spend on a trademark registration. On the other hand, they spend a lot of money on building their brand and/or product. It would be a shame to waste this investment if the trademark were to be unavailable or if someone copied it.

This is why it is very important to conduct due diligence before registering a trademark. You can already start by searching the word(s) you intend to trademark (and similar word(s)) on search engines like Google. You can also search on the publicly available database of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

The next step is to conduct a pre-filing search, which will analyze the risk of registering your trademark based not only on identical trademarks, but also potentially confusing or similar ones. This pre-filing search is conducted by a trademark agent and provides you with a detailed legal opinion whether it is possible or advisable to register your trademark. Pre-filing searches are not mandatory, but they could save your business a lot of money down the line. If you are interested in obtaining a pre-filing search prior to registering your trademark, let us know.

Ultimately, filing for a trademark registration is an important business decision. It is important to weigh the potential value of doing so, but also the legal risks that exist. Our team is available to help you with assess the pros and cons of registering a trademark.
What is the difference between the ™ symbol and the ® symbol?
The symbol can be used by businesses to notice to others that they are using particular words, logos, phrases, or designs as a trademark or service mark. It is not required to have a registered trademark to use the symbol and it can be used when you have applied for a trademark, but it is not registered yet.

Once a company successfully registers its trademark, it can then start using the ® symbol, which stands for “registered trademark”.

The ® symbol indicates to competitors, third-parties and consumers that such trademark is registered and the owners has the exclusive right to use it.
Is it more important to trademark a name or a logo first?
As a reminder, trademarks can be business names, designs, logos, sounds, or even combinations of such elements. They act as a source indicator of the goods and services offered by a company.

Each of these elements would normally constitute a separate trademark, which can raise the costs of registration significantly. For start-ups and small businesses who may only have the ressources to file for one trademark, it can be a difficult decision.

Yet, it remains a strategic business decision to take. For many companies, the first and most important indicator of the source of the services or goods will be the business name. Strategically, it may be a good decision to first ensure your business name is strongly associated with your brand. Then, once you have additional monetary resources, it is never too late to file for additional trademarks such as logos, slogans or other designs.

However, the most important question to ask yourself is whether your company’s name or your logo is the stronger indicator of the goods and services that you offer. As such, this decision can vary from one company to another and will depend on your specific situation. Our team is available to help you determine the best strategy according to your budget and your goals.