November 15, 2017


Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.

A trademark is a symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. Other synonyms for this include: logo, brand, emblem, sign, mark, stamp, symbol, badge, crest, monogram, and colophon.

The Royal Canadian Legion has been entrusted by the people of Canada to uphold and maintain the Poppy as a symbol reminding us to never forget the sacrifices Veterans made to protect our freedom. Any proposed usage of the Poppy symbol must be submitted to Dominion Command, as outlined below, and including my email correspondence with the Deputy Director of the Royal Canadian Legion when asking him if it would be okay to include this information in my Blog:

“The passage of accurate information is important to the Legion and in particular the copyright trademark of the poppy.  We do not support modifying the poppy in any form. Regards, Danny Martin, Deputy Director, The Royal Canadian Legion”

The Legion safeguards the Poppy trademark 

On June 30, 1948, on behalf of the people of Canada, the Legion was given the responsibility to safeguard the Poppy as a sacred symbol of Remembrance, a symbol of the sacrifice of our Veterans. The Legion ensures that the Poppy is not used for commercial or personal gain, and that it be protected from inappropriate use. It is for these reasons that the Legion requires permission for the use of the trademark Poppy, or the Poppy image as it relates to Remembrance.

Elements included in the trademark

The Canadian trademark for the Poppy includes both the Legion’s Poppy logo, as well as the Poppy symbol, as it relates to Remembrance. The trademark does not apply to the use of the actual Poppy flower, unless that usage is misrepresented as the Legion’s Poppy.

Requesting the use of the Poppy

The Legion has been entrusted with the significant task of safeguarding the sacred Poppy, protecting it from misuse and commercializing. Our Veterans bravely accepted the duty and responsibility to protect our rights and freedom; it is now we who must accept the duty and responsibility to protect and honour them. We will ensure that the Poppy remains the symbol of Remembrance for their sacrifices.

The Legion welcomes and encourages Canadians to promote Remembrance and honour Canada’s Veterans through the use of the Poppy.

What is required to request use of the Poppy:

  • Contact information for the individual or organization making the request
  • A description of how and where the Poppy will be used or displayed (attach a draft design of image placement or size, if applicable)
  • An explanation of why the Poppy usage is requested
  • An indication of what period of time the Poppy will be used or displayed
  • A disclosure, if intended for use on a product, of the selling cost of the item and a projection of the expected profit to be made
  • An indication of where the profit, if any, will be directed, whether to an organization, charity or manufacture

Send requests to:

Secretary of the Poppy and Remembrance Committee
The Royal Canadian Legion
86 Aird Place
Ottawa, ON K2L 0A1
Fax: 613-591-9335

For questions related to the Poppy trademark, contact and/or consult the Legion’s Poppy Manual for guidelines governing the use of the Poppy trademark.

So, it’s quite apparent after reading this information that anybody, including a  nonprofit, is not able to just borrow the use of something like the Poppy for its benefit, unless certain approvals are met, and especially when something is trademarked.

If you would like to learn more about how my experience and skills may be able to help benefit your nonprofit, or a nonprofit you may be associated with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me as I would be pleased to meet and discuss the opportunity of working together.

I hope you enjoy my postings and find this information useful. Please follow the link at: as I welcome your comments on my Blog.



Mitchell Ravvin, BComm, PFPC, CFRE
Professional Fundraiser
Rave Results Inc.
7436 21A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2C 0V9

Rave Results Inc. is a professional fundraising service specializing in assisting mid-size nonprofit organizations. Areas of expertise include: Donor Development, Major Gift Fundraising, Sponsorship, Planned Giving, and both Annual and Capital Campaigns.

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