I,ve been making bears almost a year now ans they are selling, now I know I have to take more steps..... Trademark? Is this the same as getting a copyright? I want to make a tag for my bears and I have a name in mind [ Ive done a search and no one as far as I know has it] but the cost is outrageous! Is this cost to save your own butt in case someone takes it from you? and copyright? and never forget a business liscence! Does that liscence cover everywhere once u get it? What exactly do you ALL NEED? So far I have just started signing my initials, that I know is mine! Please help.........
Brenda, I am also interested in this, I am new and someone has used a version of my name. As far as I know copyright applies to the pattern, so to sell a bear it has to be your own pattern unless you have permission from the original pattern maker/designer, this can be from buying a commercial pattern (most patterns will say for personal use only if you can't use them to then sell). Trademark means that the name belongs to you and no-one can use it, to sell or advertise etc, ie Disney, Steiff and Boyds unless they have permission again, like a retailer who has steiff stock they enter a contract to purchase and stock the bears and in return the steiff company says they can advertise their name on their logo/advert in mags etc.
Not sure about the business licence, in the Uk we can trade as long as you declare income on a tax return to inland revenue, one way to semi own your name here is to start a limited company, this is done by buying a company number (there are many on the specialists on the internet who will sell a company number) then you change the name with companies house to the one that you want (as long as no-one else has used it) This has different tax rules than being self-employed.
As for everything else my head is full of bear designs plus websites, domain names, search engines and I still have not got a clue what to put on my website, it is blank at the mo. Roman was not built in a day
Many FenHugs Sue
Website - was going to just bombard mine with pics as well but not got enough bears yet
As for lawyers this seems expensive, in UK you can get 1/2 hour free with most lawyers and accountants so this may be worth a try where you are, you have nothing to lose so ask, if they do then have all your questions ready and go for it, they won't mind, to them you are a potential life long customer and possibly will recommend them to others, I still recommend our house solicitor and that was 6 years ago!!!
Hope you strike lucky let me know how you get on
I am not sure how it works in Canada as compared to in the US, but as for copyright, you really don't need to spend money on it. If you designed the pattern and you made the bear, a copyright is implied already. Her, I had to get a ficticious business name (meaning I paid $75 after searching on the internet for the name, then had to post a notice in the newspaper for 4 weeks, then the FBN acceptance was sent to me) I renew it ever 5 years, but do not have to post it in the paper anymore. I also was required to get a business license in the city I live in and apply to the State Board of Equalization for a resellers permit (which you need to charge and pay the taxes on earnings). Hope this helps. I would think it would be a waste of time to hire an attorney. Check with your local city hall government and they should be able to tell you everything you need.
Here is a link that should explain what you need to do in Alberta.
http://www.canadaone.com/ezine/june01/b … ation.html
1) Basically you reserve the name while they do a to see if it is available.
2) If it is available then you register the name. You must decided if you want a partnership or be a sole proprietor. You must renew the name each year ( at least here in N.S. we do) .
3) You should be able to get a copy of the small business guide from Revenue Canada or online at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/business/t … lepartner/
It explains all the things you can claim, GST, PST etc. All the business stuff ! Sometimes the local employment office might offer workshops on setting a small business which would be helpful.
4) The painful part is keeping acurate records for Tax time. You can do it yourself or use an accountant.
5) You must file a tax return called a T2124-Statement of Business Activity . I think you have until June 30th each year to file as does the spouse of a sole proprietor of a partnership.
It sounds complicated, but is quite easy actually. Hope this helps. Email me if I can answer any other questions for you.
Copyright is quite different to Trademark.
But I would recommend anyone serious about their business, register their business name as their Trademark. I have and I think it's worth every penny!
In Australia you can do this online with the Trademarks Office in Canberra. It takes quite some time to go through as it's posted in the Trademarks Journal for any businesses to contend and once it's accepted it's backdated till the time you submitted your name and is covered for 10 years.
I learned the importance of this from being in business previously and stopped two businesses from using our business name, without using a solicitor purely because we had the name registered at the Trademarks Office.
Hope this helps, I know it's different in each country but it's worth checking out.
Here is an excellent link for Canadian Patent/Copyright/Trademark law. Collectively these areas are called 'Intellectual Property Rights.' This particular link applies specifically to Alberta, but is much the same all over Canada. (Access other provinces throught their main menu.) It's a very easy to follow Q&A system of information.
This website also covers many other common issues of law.
To achieve full protection it's advisable to file for Copyright protection. This is available for $30 per item.
I believe the fee is now up to $45. Also, it is possible to file a collection of similar works for one fee. We do this several times a year for my mother's artwork, teddy bear paper dolls, etc. The US Copyright Office has a very good phone help line, which is how we found out the details of filing a collection, without having to pay to file each item individually. Basically, you give the collection a name... we might do one for "Watercolor Paintings Spring 2007". We would then need to include a print-out copy of each painting that you are filing under this collection name. And that's it. Very simple. (Well, of course you need to fill out the rest of the form and include the $45.) The only catch is to never file another collection under the same name, which is why we tend to file with the season and year designation, so we are never at risk of repeating anything.
Thx for the clarification Kelly! A year and a half ago I attended a 2 day conference in Phoenix hosted by the PTO (check the site periodically for a scheduled city near you - as small business owners it is nice to have all of the experts right from DC in attendance to answer all of your questions) I attended all of the sessions having to do w/TM, R & C. Patent (for the processes of producing an item) was not of interest to me so I didn't attend those.
Times change & prices go up!