Trademark Mistakes Startups Should Avoid

4 trademark mistakes every startup should avoid

Trademarks play an important role in branding. Make sure you avoid these four mistakes.

In registering a trademark, startups should consider a variety of factors. Most startups make mistakes when registering a trademark. Be sure to avoid these mistakes when registering a trademark to reap the benefits.

It is the goal of every business to attract the attention of its audience, which will identify you by your brand name, slogan, or logo. It is only natural that businesses would own their brands. Because a successful business’s brand can become so valuable, it’s not only logical, but imperative. 

Even so, many start-ups delay trademark applications or vastly underestimate them, which can result in significant financial losses. Build a business with your brand’s ambition in mind. When you’re ready to register your trademark, you should consider the potential size of your brand. Below are four mistakes and examples of how trademark missteps negatively affected startups.

Here Are Four Trademark Mistakes To Avoid

Filing Delayed

Starting a business is busy, we know. Then again, you won’t be so busy that you can’t set up the registration process in a few hours. The TM symbol can be used within three days, even though it will not be registered for two years (bureaucracy works slowly). Startups, even large ones, delay this because they believe it isn’t important. According to the strength of their claim, you may have to say goodbye if another business trademarks the name, slogan, or logo you thought was yours.

For example, if you own a car rental business in Bengaluru with a plan to expand nationwide, and another business trademarks your name before you do, then your brand name will be restricted to Bengaluru. Another company with the same name may seem unlikely. You might as well get a trademark for *6,000, even if it is rare. Click here to find out whether you should register your brand name or logo.

Keeping A Local Mindset

In spite of Pinterest clearly becoming a global brand, it took two years after it started operating to file a trademark application in the US. By then, a relatively unknown media start-up called Premium Interest had trademarked the name throughout Europe and Australia. In an attempt to change this, Pinterest is showing they have been present in these places, but even if it works, all this effort would have not been needed if they had trademarked the name sooner.

It is clear that they planned to do so much before raising $225 million in early 2013 for global expansion. If they cannot get the brand name in Europe and Australia, what will happen? Therefore, businesses should protect their creations, especially if they’re valuable, before another business interferes.

Using A Recognizable Name

By trademarking a name, you have demonstrated your understanding of branding. Even if the company does not operate in India, it is not a good idea to use an established brand name.

Even though trademark squatting is big business in China (since the country follows the first-to-file system), it won’t work in India, since we follow the common law system. For instance, let’s look at Zara and the Zara Tapas Bar in Chennai. The clothing brand Zara has been around since the 1970s.

Zara opposed the restaurant’s trademark filing in 2005, even when the restaurant announced it would not be limited to the restaurant business and use only a composite mark (the logo with text included rather than the words).

Therefore, the courts sided with the international brand, since it has been exporting to India since the 1980s. A brand is granted the right to use a trademark if it can demonstrate that it used a word, logo, or slogan in commerce in a particular area before any other business. A trademark should not infringe on the rights of a big brand that can enter the Indian market.

Having A Narrow Mind

Trying to build a big business while avoiding costs is not a smart move. In order to build a business you will have to invest until you get the return you always knew was possible. Thus, entrepreneurs should register their brand names in all sectors (called classes, of which there are 45 in total) they intend to enter.

Each one must be treated as a separate application, so you must pay a fee of *4,000 for each one, but the cost of a single trademark lawsuit would be many times that of a trademark application.

Say you run an e-commerce business and believe that one day you will have your own clothing line that you will market online. When you plan to use the same brand name, it must also be registered in classes 24 and 25 (related to clothing and textiles).

Entrepreneurs and business owners who are just starting out should avoid these trademark mistakes. By following these tips, you can choose the right brand name for your business. With the inputs mentioned above, you can establish your startup business as popular and attract potential clients.

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