Ray Litvak

Jul 20, 2012
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Hi All,

It's been a while since I posted here and I hope this is the right forum section for this post...either way, I'm glad to be back!

A client of mine is a Veterinarian in a city just outside of Toronto. He has been enjoying good local and organic rankings in his city for a number of years for ?veterinarian? and ?animal hospital? related services/key phrases.

A number of competitors have since entered the marketplace. One of these competitors has a keyword-rich URL (city + vet.ca) and is aggressively going after some popular keywords i.e. (city + animal + hospital) among others. The reason that I am writing this is because the competitor just sent an e-mail to my client. Here is what it says:

?Your site is using our business name [City Animal Hospital] as their website title. Please fix this as this is a registered business name. Also it is misleading the public.

(Type [city animal Hospital] into Google on Chrome and you will see the title, or we can send Screen Shots)?

Can a business that has a registered business name that contains popular and localized generic keywords in its name prevent other businesses from using those keywords as part of their SEO efforts as it violates trademark infringement. I?m not up on my TM law in Ontario, but would be surprised if this was the case.





Oct 15, 2013
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It's unlikely that a business would be able to get a registered trademark with "city name animal hospital". However, you should perform a trademark search in your country to see if they did, in fact, get the registered trademark. I know it's the USPTO in the US and you can search TESS here. But I'm not sure about Ontario and Canada.

A response could be to ask for the Registered Trademark Number.

Ultimately it's up to whether or not the have the registered trademark or not.
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