If I decide to make my own product using my own recipe or formula than I need to go through some additional legal steps to sell my product in Canada. All the legal documents for my product will be my intellectual resources. In this section I will learn about:
Naming your product is known as branding. It is different from the business name. One can use the same branding name as the business name.
Branding is done through Trademark. Trademarks are words, designs, tastes, textures, moving images, modes of packaging, holograms, sounds, scents or images used to define your product. In Canada, a brand name or trademark is registered for 10 years and will then need to be renewed.
Process of Branding
- Decide on a name for your product
- Decide on a logo design and text for the label
- Decide how you will market the product
- Check the Canadian Database of Trademarks on the government website. This is to check whether the trademark is available and to ensure that there is no similar brand name
- The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) provides the trademark E-filing service
- Present the business documents to the representative of the City of Calgary for review
- Prepare and file the following documents for the application: The name and mailing address of the applicant
- A picture or description, or both for the application
- Application fee between $150 to $350 (varies case by case). All fees are paid online along with the application
- Any statement or text that the applicant wishes to use with the design, the text lines for advertising, etc.
- Consider filing a separate application for each of the trademarks. One application can cover a number of goods or services for a given trademark.
A patent is an intellectual resource for manufacturing businesses of items for direct use by humans or animals. This is legal protection that no one can make, import, or claim of inventing a similar product.
- Most patents are for a limited period of years (approximately 20 years)
- There is an annual fee to keep a patent in Canada
- Application within one year of publicly disclosing an idea. If the application is not made within the one year period, the investor may lose his/her rights to the patent
- All patents are valid only in the country they have been applied for. Example: Patents registered in Calgary or from any other Canadian city are valid in Canada only
- Patents protect an invention. The invention may be a product, apparatus, composition of matter or, a process with a function or purpose
- Getting a patent is not a compulsory step for the manufacturer but considered safe to avoid any future legal problems.
Process of Getting Patents
- Visit the website www.cipo.gc.ca. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
- I will fill in a free online patent search. The search will tell me whether someone else has already patented or disclosed something similar to my invention. If I will know which related inventions are patented, it will help me to decide the scope of what I may claim as my own and avoids any conflicts.
- I can also find the city-wise office information for the patent issuing office, for example, the Calgary office is at Alastair Ross Technology Centre Suite 438, 3553 – 31 Street N.W. T2L 2K7 Phone 587-333-639
Find the list of registered patent agents in Calgary
- Obtain an application form
- Complete the application and requirements such as details on idea, recipe, formula, etc.
- Submit the application and fee for processing. More detailed information about the Canadian Patent system and its requirements can be found at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) website.
Patents are made public 18 months after the application is filed. The purpose of the publication is to share knowledge with the public so that society can benefit from this advance in technology and knowledge.
If I decide to make and pack food items to be sold in the market than I need to have proper labeling of the product on the package. Nutrition labeling was made compulsory in Canada in 2007 for all prepacked food. All prepacked foods must have the following details:
A nutrition fact table
An ingredient list which includes priority food allergens
Process of Getting Labels
- Finalize your recipe, product, and formula that needs to sell as a packed item
- Define Packaging – container, bag or in any other form
- Identify the food nutritional testing and labeling laboratory in your area. I can also ask for support and area-specific information form the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
- Write to the concerned lab to test your product for nutritional analysis, possible allergies and useful shelf life. Always select the lab which has the capacity to develop a Nutritional Analysis label according to the FDA labeling laws.
- Labs ask for the detailed ingredient list along with the quantities used of each of the ingredients, recipes, and places where the product will be manufactured. For certain products, labs recommend sending more detailed information instead of the sample.
- Labs generally accept the samples in small quantities up to 500 grams. They charge between $500 to $700 for developing the nutritional label for each product.
- Most of the label providers print pre-barcoded labels.
- Once you receive the labels make sure you have the name of your product
- You can also request for the printing of the product labels from the nutritional testing and labeling laboratory
- Based on useful shelf life information you can either print or stamp the expiry date of the product
The labeling of cosmetics is governed by two acts and their associated regulations:
- The Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations, and
- The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations
The Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations govern the classification and labeling of cosmetic products with regard to the:
- Expression of the product's identity on its label
- Name and address of the principal place of business of the manufacturer indicated on the label
- Listing of ingredients on the label
- Avoidable hazards presented by the cosmetic
- The Cosmetic Regulations under the Food and Drugs Act allow a designated Health Canada inspector to inspect:
- Cosmetic products
- Locations, where cosmetics are manufactured or stored. The name and address may appear in English, French, or both official languages and
- Any labeling or advertising material related to a cosmetic product
- Like food products, labels identify the cosmetic testing lab that follows the regulation requirements
- Send the detailed ingredient list and sample of the product for a safety test, useful shelf life, and possible allergies
- Labs will issue the label details according to regulatory requirements.
- Labs charge between $500 to $800 per product based on the type and complexity of ingredients used in the manufacturing of the product
For Calgary contact
Calgary Regional Product Safety Office Room 282, Harry Hays Building 220 – 4th Avenue South East Calgary, Alberta T2G 4X3
Toll-free: 1-866-662-0666 (Canada and U.S. only. Calls will be routed to the closest regional office.)
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Service Canada)