All too many times the trademark is an afterthought, often for budgetary reasons. As a very small business, I understand budget and cash flow very well. When you wait, however, for the business to become too well established, then you run the risk of having to change your name. Penny wise and pound foolish my mother always said.
So when just this very morning a new customer said to me, "I can't change my name. I must get this trademark registered, the business is built around it...since 2014”, I felt compelled to remind (sm)all businesses, don't wait to start the trademark process.
It is 4 simple steps:
free search / professional search / registration filing / issuance of certificate
Yes, you are on a very tight budget, possibly waiting for the actual sales to fund future expansion, but securing your trademark is part of the start up costs. It should be an integral step that should not be skipped.
- You can start free here in the TMView, which has about 40 searchable countries so far. https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome
- If there are no “exact hits”, you can take the next step: get a search prepared by a trademark professional with the experience to look at the “similar hits”. This is not too expensive in most countries.
- phoenetic spellings vane / vein / vain / fein / fain / fane / wein
- translations air / aire / airo / aero / ayro
- coordinated class codes (029/030...025/014...035/042)
- merely descriptiveness does your brand merely describe your product or service ?
A good search report will include all of these things (varies by country), and short opinion to boot.
3. The trademark registration process does not have to be that expensive, and you can expand
country by country, as your budget allows. One of my oldest customers started in 1998 with 2 brands
in a single country, and now those brands have registered in over 100 countries each.
Start always with country of origin.
If you are going to have a problem with the name, better that you find that out before investing time and money in promoting a name that might eventually have to be changed or litigated.
Do not neglect the very important aspect of trademark protection when planning the future of your new brand and company.