Should You Trademark Your Project?

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Dec 14

I was asked recently whether it is worth trademarking a new real estate project’s name or not. Here’s my answer:

is a good question, Emmett. I
don’t think anyone has ever asked me that.

have done many projects including:


Briarbrook/Riddell Village


Dunrobin Parkview


Ottawa Senators

of Dunrobin

Dunrobin Lake

Heron Storage

Heron Coop


Calabogie Gateway Centre

Royal Bank Pavilion

and many more…

have never trademarked any of them (except one–see below). It
never seemed worth doing, and I was never challenged on any of them. 

To me it seemed like a waste of time trademarking what in my view often amounted to a neighborhood’s or a street’s name. 

The Palladium name, the original moniker for the arena where the NHL’s Ottawa Senators play, lives on as both a  street name (Palladium drive) and a highway interchange having long been replaced by more commercial designations–Corel Centre, Scotiabank Place, and now Canadian Tire Centre (aka Tire Chalet).

I can’t give you a legal opinion. It’s
only my humble opinion as a realtor and former developer… but I
would not personally spend money on it.

Still, it’s up to you. 

The only one I ever trademarked was “Ottawa Senators” and only because of the scale
of the opportunity, and the trouble we would have in the US if we didn’t.

One patent and trademark agent/lawyer told me that, “Patents (and trademarks),
Bruce, are only worth what you are willing to pay to defend them.” So if you
are not prepared to spend any money dragging a trademark infringer into a
courtroom or if someone objects, you are willing to change your name, then
probably applying for a trademark and paying beaucoup legal fees and
application fees isn’t worth it.

Please note that my opinion would be radically different if this was a US-based project. America has 3% of the
world’s population and two thirds of the planetary supply of lawyers so while
it’s business first in most nations and legals second, in the US,
unfortunately, it’s the reverse…

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.