Trademark Law

Trademark Law 

The Importance of Professional Assistance in Matters Related to Trademarks

Trademarks have been playing an important role in how we as consumers identify products, services and manufacturers. Market economy is based on the competition among market players and it is becoming increasingly important to protect the fairness of this competition. The main role of trademark law is to create an environment of such fair competition and to protect the consumer from being misled or confused by inappropriate practices.

The Importance of Trademark Protection

Given the fierce competition among market players in any domain of the economy, branding is becoming more and more important and so is the protection of an already established brand name. Consumers have a permanently widening access to products and services. They experiment and explore brands and they become loyal to particular brands and chose to avoid others – either ways, they identify the products and services at their disposal based on the image on the brand and not by reading the small print on the packaging. Therefore, the slogans, logos and other signs that enable the owner of the brand to transmit a message to its possible consumers as well as to distinguish itself from other similar products or services need to be protected by law.

What Is a Trademark?

To be able to explore the complex world of trademark law and the most common issues governed by it, the first term we need to define here is the trademark itself. A trademark is any symbol, sign, word or phrase that is used for distinguishing a seller, a manufacturer and its products from other similar sellers, manufacturer’s or products, in other words, it is a sign, symbol or phrase used for denoting sole ownership over products and services. In certain cases, the trademark may include other aspects related to specific products or services, such as the colors and images used in logos or on packaging.

The trademark is the sign that informs the consumer about the origin of the product or service, the sign that identifies you as the sole owner of the rights over the product or service in question, therefore it must not be confused with other terms such as patents and copyrights. While the trademark is the brand attached to products and services, patents are used for protecting inventions and copyrights are used for protecting literary or artistic works.

Laws to Govern Trademarks

Trademarks are governed by federal and state laws as well. These laws determine the terms and conditions of ownership over the trademark as well as the terms and conditions of transferring the ownership. Trademarks can be not only owned – they can be licensed as well and the terms of such license agreements between the trademark owner and the licensee are also regulated by trademark law.

When You Need a Trademark Lawyer

As opposed to Commonwealth jurisdictions, where trademark attorneys are required to obtain certain qualifications to be allowed to practice, in the U.S., any lawyer licensed to practice is allowed to handle cases governed by trademark law (unlike Patent Lawyers, who are required to pass specific exams to be able to practice).

Trademark attorneys act in all matters related to trademarks, being allowed to assist clients before, during and after the process of trademark application. The responsibilities of trademark lawyers are diverse and include the extended search in federal trademark data bases to find out whether the client’s proposed trademark is original indeed, the compiling of the documentations necessary for registering trademarks, filing registration applications and advising on litigation concerning trademarks such as trademark infringements.

While it is not obligatory to hire a trademark attorney for registering or using a trademark, these legal services are known to save time and money for the clients. These legal professionals have access to resources that can facilitate the registration process and they possess the experience and knowledge to help clients avoid legal problems arising from the way they design and use their trademarks.



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Canadian Consumer Protection Act

consumer protection

Canadian Consumer Law: Get To Know Your Rights

Canadian consumer law is the branch that pertains to the supply of goods and services for personal use and consumption by individuals. It is different from commercial law, which deals with the sale of goods from one business to another business, with the intention of making a profit. Consumer law deals with the sale of goods to an individual with the intention of use or consumption.

Consumer Law is relatively new and has only been around for approximately 30 years. Its development directly reflects the changes in the market after WWII took place.

It can be attributed to the rise of consumerism, as a result of mass production, to the transition from an agrarian lifestyle to an urban lifestyle that took place in North America, to the addition of new and complex products, to the affluent society, and to the steady growth in income in the past thirty years, as well as credit.

With the rise in production of goods, it was important to make sure consumers were protected by law. This prompted lawmakers to establish the Consumer Protection Act, to ensure that both individuals and businesses would be protected.

Consumers should make sure they know the rights that are extended to them under the Consumer Protection Act, so, if they feel wronged by a business, they can file an official complaint with the ministry.

Cooling-off period

When a consumer signs a new contract in certain circumstances, they are allowed what is called a cooling-off period. This is a timeframe in which they can change their mind if they decide to. Examples of these situations include:

  • You have a cooling-off period whenever a direct agreement is made following the purchase of a product from a door-to-door salesperson.
  • You are allowed a cooling-off period if you enter into a personal development contract that involved you paying in advance for a gym membership or fitness club.
  • Under the Payday Loans Act, you are allowed a cooling-off period following the acceptance of a payday loan.
  • According to the Condominium Act, you are allowed a cooling-off period following the purchase of a newly built condo.

With the cooling-off period, you can cancel your contract at anytime, for any reason, as long as it is within the specified timeframe. This also includes any financing plans that you set up.


Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is illegal for any business or individual to provide you with false information about themselves, the services they offer, or the products they are selling. Examples of misrepresentation would include:

  • Claiming that they were licensed, accredited or certified to provide a service when they are not;
  • Displaying fake safety certification, accreditation or any other credentials;
  • Stating to a consumer that a product or good is a certain grade, style, model or quality when it is not;
  • Promising that they will deliver a product or service when they know they are not capable of doing so;
  • Recommending that you purchase unnecessary repairs or replacements.

If you have done business with a company or individual that have misrepresented themselves, you are within your right to withdraw from the contract anytime within a year.

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Canada E-Commerce Laws

e-commerce law

A Few Considerations Regarding Canadian Electronic Commerce Law And Where It Is Applicable

Just like most other countries in the world, Canada has adopted a series of acts and regulations to govern the electronic commerce. Canada has enacted legislation that is meant to address several contractual formalities as well as to regulate some procedural aspects in the process of formation of contracts in the information technology trade.

Even though there are a set of regulations that apply to electronic commerce, in Canada, most regulations are more subject to provincial jurisdiction rather than federal jurisdiction. While there is indeed federal legislation which regulates the dealing of electronic documents or other electronic fillings, these are usually applicable when the federal government is involved in electronic trade. Despite the fact that there are some generalities and some central features which regulate the electronic commerce, there are also many differences between federal electronic commerce legislation and provincial statutes.

So in most cases, it is usually the matter of consulting the provincial electronic commerce legislation rather than the federal legislation. There is also the consideration that businesses carrying out trade in a specific province must ascertain specific requirements which are applicable in it, and that is why the business must refer to the legislation of that specific province.


In addition to the legislation governing electronic commerce, all business owners conducting electronic commerce in Canada should be aware that there are other indirect laws which might apply. So besides the electronic commerce legislation, there may be other federal or provincial laws which govern several aspects of the trade such as advertising, privacy, consumer protection, language, and there are also some set of laws that apply to on-line businesses.

Provincial electronic commerce legislations

In Ontario for example, there is the Consumer Protection Act which regulates internet agreements with consumers. The Consumer Protection Act imposes certain disclosure obligations to the vendor while also providing consumers with some cancellation rights if the law is not respected. All vendors have to disclose specific information that is not only readily visible, but also in a printable format. In case the vendor does not respect the regulation, then the consumer will have the right to cancel the agreement within 7 days after having received from the vendor a copy with the disclosed information. Although the Ontario legislation is provincial, it is applicable to any electronic commerce agreement that has either the vendor or the consumer residing in Ontario.

The Consumer Protection Act has been made public by the Canadian Competition Bureau through an Information Bulletin and it was sent to representations on the Internet. This was done in order to help all those natural or legal persons that are making representations on the online medium to know about their obligations as well as their rights that fall under the Competition Act provisions which aim to regulate things such as misleading advertising and other practices which may be considered as being deceptive. There are also other provincial electronic commerce regulations which put more emphasis on fair practice and consumer protection.


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Useful Facts about Criminal Justice Majors

criminal justice

The purpose of criminal justice majors is for students to learn about the systems that are established by governments so that crime offenders are apprehended, arrested, prosecuted and then punished and social order is preserved. The courses are chosen so that students can understand both crime and justice and how the justice system works.

The major will equip students with knowledge of what the origins of criminal behavior are, of how a police unit is administrated, crime laboratory technology, probation, parole and corrections and theory on criminal justice. The criminal justice major also aims to determine students to think critically about the balance between public order and individual freedoms and rights. Students can choose the area of criminal justice they want to focus on, for example they could choose law enforcement, homeland security or forensic science.

The field of criminal justice is a highly interdisciplinary one, intersecting with psychology, sociology, natural sciences, computer science and communication. Courses that might be taught as part of the Criminal Justice major could be some of the following: Criminology, Survey of Criminal Courts, Police & Society, Prisons and Prisoners, Criminal Procedure, Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice Research Methods, Quantitative Methods in Psychology, Law and Politics, Computer Analysis of Social Science Data, Eyewitness Testimony and others.

The courses vary a lot from institution to institution. There are many baccalaureate programs that encourage or even require students to take part in internships in criminal justice setting for course credit.

Criminal justice graduates have a wide range of careers to choose from:

  • Police officer (the higher ranks)
  • Correctional officer
  • Parole or probation officer
  • Crime analyst
  • Crime prevention specialist
  • Legal research assistant
  • Court coordinator
  • Border patrol agent
  • Detective
  • Paralegal
  • Court reporter
  • Fish and game warden
  • Lawyer

Some of these jobs require further training or education aside from the criminal justice major, while others do not necessarily require the major, but having the degree ensures higher chances of advancing in job position.

Will you find the criminal justice major to be difficult?

The answer is very subjective, as it depends on your abilities and ideals in life. What are you generally interested in? Do you want a criminal justice degree just because your friends are aiming at one too? Because of TV ads? These might not be the best reasons for attending the criminal justice major, but some of the following could be:

  • You are interested in the problems faced by society.
  • You are an analytical person and enjoy digging deeper into a problem in order to find proper answers and solutions.
  • You like working with people.
  • You are interested in what is right and in social order

Aside from the Criminal Justice major, what other majors are related to the field of criminal justice?

The following majors are also closely linked to the field of criminal justice:

  • Corrections – students learn theories and principles of correctional science and prepare to become correctional officers or occupy other jobs in incarceration facilities.
  •  Corrections Administration – students are being prepared to plan and administrate facilities where offenders are housed for rehabilitation, be they private or public institutions.
  • Criminal Justice and Corrections – correctional sciences are studied for becoming a correctional officer or holding another position within an incarceration facility
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration – students learn to apply theories and practices of organization administration and criminal justice to agencies in the law enforcement field.
  • Criminal Justice/Police Science – this program aims to prepare students in performing duties specific to police and public security officers.
  • Criminal Justice/Safety Studies – the program has the criminal justice system in focus, with its organizational components and activities and also its legal and public policy contexts.

All in all, as you can see, you have many choices, all very rewarding, even though none a piece of cake. If you are properly motivated, then you probably will not find the challenges posed by such a major to be too difficult.


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