November 7, 2017 by Kevin Orland and Scott Deveau
TransCanada Corp., which diversified heavily into the U.S. with its $10.2 billion Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. acquisition last year, is seeking trademarks on new company names that would excise its home country.
The pipeline builder and operator has published the names TC Energy, TCE, Ventiv, Convergent and Northbow in the Canadian government’s trademarks journal in the past four months, according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s website. Publishing the names lets others weigh in before the trademarks are granted and registered.
While it’s not clear that TransCanada intends to change its name, a new appellation could reflect its diversification beyond its home base and help it wipe clean negative sentiment accrued during the fight over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S.. The company also has natural gas pipelines in Mexico and power generation in multiple global markets.
“It’s not uncommon for a company of our size to protect trademarks in order to keep future options open for various projects or entities,” said Mark Cooper, a TransCanada spokesman. He declined to comment on whether the company is considering changing its name, saying it’s company practice not to speak to rumors or speculation.
The pipeline giant was founded in 1951 to develop a pipeline that would move natural gas produced in the western provinces to markets in the country’s east. That line is now known as the Canadian mainline.
TransCanada also has received approval notices for Valentis Energy and Vectura Energy, but hasn’t published them. All of the applications are for names of companies that build and operate oil and natural gas pipelines, while some also include the sale of downloadable computer software for ordering natural gas transportation and storage services.
The applications for Convergent and Northbow were filed in February 2016, a few weeks before the Columbia takeover was announced. All of the others were filed late in June 2016, just days before the deal was completed.
TransCanada, based in Calgary, rose 1.4 percent to C$62.60 in Toronto on Tuesday. They were up 3.4 percent for the year. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Thursday.