Avery Lee

Lawyer, Keyser Mason Ball, LLP

I help business owners who want to have peace of mind that they have the rights to actually use their brand name and stop others from using similar or identical names that could potentially confuse their customers.

A common mistake business owners make is thinking that they are good to go if they simply incorporate or register their business name in Ontario. In some cases they are at least free to use the business name that they have chosen, but in other cases, someone else has the exclusive “trademark” rights to a similar name with respect to a similar business and can force others to rebrand or face the consequences of getting sued.

Registering a trademark involves a separate process and allows trademark owners to obtain exclusive rights to use the trademark across Canada, even in provinces or cities in which the trademark owner has never used the trademark. Registering a trademark makes it easier to prevent others from using a similar name while also acting as a shield to prevent others from coming after you as well.

I’ve filed hundreds of trademark applications and in doing so I’ve made an ongoing effort to find ways to better communicate and make the process easier and less daunting for my clients.

Rest assured that if you refer someone to me, I won’t just sell them on registering their trademark. If I think they would be wasting their time and money trying to register a trademark that they would be unlikely to get, I will send them off free of charge. In those situations, they can also bounce alternative names off of me, and I am always happy to be involved in such a process. Currently, I tend to work with a range of small to medium business owners including restaurant owners who want to franchise their business, as well as online-based businesses who want to make sure they won’t get into trouble using their name or logo online, and to stop potential copycats.

Avery can be reached by email at alee@kmblaw.com