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Do You Know How To Protect Your Business? Business 

Do You Know How To Protect Your Business?

We often see advertising companies that openly discredit their competitors (I have particularly noticed in the automotive field), which may suggest that in the field of advertising, everything is allowed. But that’s far from being the case! Do you know how to protect your business from malicious competitors? To find out, read this!

This article was written according to the laws and information from the book Droit de l’entreprise, 8th edition, by Nicole Lacasse.

Unfair competition

Competition is legal and even desired in a free market economy like ours. However, the law imposes certain limits when there is unfair competition. In order for competition to be considered unfair, it must be shown that there is a presence of intent to harm or bad faith.

According to section 7 of the Trade-marks Act, no one may make a false or misleading statement about a competitor, cause confusion between his products and those of a competitor, provide other goods than that sold by attempting to misrepresent it, to use a false designation with respect to its products and services, or to contravene Canada’s honest industrial and commercial practices.

Here are some examples to better understand.

  • A garment producer can not say that his competitor has children working in his factories if that is not true.
  • A coffee producer can not sell his coffee in a package that looks like a competitor’s.
  • A jeweler can not sell a necklace claiming that it is handmade when it is not.

As Lacasse tells us, “In all cases of unfair competition, the competitor has a recourse against the company that has used dishonest procedures to attract its customers. However, he has the burden of establishing the damage he has suffered. “

Protect your know-how

If the success of your company revolves around a particular know-how and your own (knowledge, mode of production, industrial recipe, etc.) better protect it! To do this, two choices are available to you;

  • Have this know-how qualified as confidential information

To be recognized as such by law, it must first earn the title of “confidential”, so be related to the activities of the company and not be easily accessible. (Confidential information may also include customer lists, expansion plans, production costs and any such privileged information). In addition, the company must designate the confidential information as such on the documents that deal with it, control access to them by means of locks, passwords or other security measures, restrict access to persons who need it only, inform them of the confidential nature of the information and have them sign an undertaking to respect the confidentiality of the information shared.

  • Make you recognize a direct property right on this know-how

This right applies only to inventions, works, industrial designs, trademarks, plant varieties and topographies of integrated circuits. The purpose of the direct property right is to share information while protecting it. If, for example, to protect his rights, the author of a book should keep his writings confidential, he would not have much interest in writing a book! The copyright allows him to share his writings, while remaining protected in the event that someone would copy them illegally.

Trademarks

Trademarks are words, designs, logos, packaging methods, etc. used by a company to identify its goods and services with a view to distinguishing them from competitors (Article 2). In order for your brand to be recognized as such and protected, it must be registered or sufficiently recognized by consumers. A brand that does not distinguish your product from others in the minds of consumers, such as “The pastry chef” for a pastry shop, can not be protected. In addition, if your brand is not registered, but is sufficiently known to consumers in Quebec, for example, your brand will be protected in Quebec, but not in the rest of Canada, where consumers do not know you. It is also important to know that just because you have registered a brand does not mean that it necessarily belongs to you. For example, you register your brand, then you realize that someone has already used this brand for several years without having registered. If that person can prove that consumers recognize his brand and attribute it to his products and service, he is protected. It is therefore the use and recognition of consumers that takes precedence over registration under the Act (the Act respecting the legal publicity of businesses, section 17). If that person can prove that consumers recognize his brand and attribute it to his products and service, he is protected. It is therefore the use and recognition of consumers that takes precedence over registration under the Act (the Act respecting the legal publicity of businesses, section 17). If that person can prove that consumers recognize his brand and attribute it to his products and service, he is protected. It is therefore the use and recognition of consumers that takes precedence over registration under the Act (the Act respecting the legal publicity of businesses, section 17).

Domain names

Nowadays, a big part of the trade is done online and the unused and interesting domain names are more and more rare. To use a domain name, you must register it (for example, with Go Daddy). Some domain names are reserved for a particular use (such as .gov for government institutions or .ca which is reserved for individuals and entities that meet the Canadian presence requirements) and will be subject to special verifications before being granted. Apart from these, it is the law of first come first served, which means that if your company is called Little bird and someone has already reserved the domain name petitoiseau.com, you you will need to find another domain name (petitoiseau.ca, petitoiseau.net, etc.). If, on the contrary, you are lucky and petitoiseau.com is free, it would be wise to book .com, .net, .ca and company if you want to be certain that no one will be able to use this name. It could be easy (but not necessarily legal),small bird . com , you will need to find another domain name (petitoiseau.net, etc.). If, on the contrary, you are lucky . com is free, it would be wise to book .com, .net, .ca and company if you want to be certain that no one will be able to use this name. It could be easy (but not necessarily legal) for a competitor who wishes to harm you, for example, to reserve these other domain names and to give a negative image of your business by misusing it.

The major problem with domain names is that they are unique worldwide (there can only be one petitoiseau.com), while the protection of registered trademarks is managed by country. For example, you may have registered Little Bird in Canada and someone may have done the same in France. This person may have reserved his domain name before you and use it legally. In short, before choosing his business name, it’s a good idea to check that a domain name is always available! Section 17 of the Act Respecting the Legal Publicity of Enterprises  can also tell you more about what you have the right to choose as a business name. It will save you a lot of trouble! small bird . com ), while the protection of registered trademarks is managed by country. For example, you may have registered Little Bird in Canada and someone may have done the same in France. This person may have reserved his domain name before you and use it legally. In short, before choosing his business name, it’s a good idea to check that a domain name is always available! Article 17 of the

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