In Retrospect, Target Could Have Avoided Spending Million on Canadian Trademark

Companies that potentially may do business in Canada should file a Canadian “intent-to-use” trademark application for approximately $250, with the possibility of keeping the application alive for four years or more for approximately $2,000.

A Canadian trademark application allows as many classes of goods or services without additional changes in the application fee.  Therefore, when filing the “intent-to-use,” one can potentially add on classes that one’s company has not yet expanded into but may possibly develop into in the future.

Target, however, failed to file such an application and was confronted with a prior registration for “Target” for use in association with clothing retail stores.  Target challenged the prior registration but ended up spending in the “8 figures” to purchase the prior registration instead.

Had Target just filed an “intent-to-use” application, it would have avoided such an expensive mess for possibly only $250.  To avoid ending up in a similar financial rut as Target did, the simple solution is to file a Canadian “intent-to-use” trademark application covering a plurality of classes.