Company’s brand represents the single most valuable asset, differentiating its products and services from other competitors in the eyes of its customers. Business owners often think about brand protection only once they are faced with infringement or other issues, and by that time, it is often too late. Lack of legal experience can make the trademark registration process quite confusing and redundant. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some common concerns we hear from our clients when it comes to trademark registration and advice based on years of practice:
It's too complicated
Trademark registration can seem like a burdensome process, but it usually comes down to filling out a single form and then waiting for a response from the IP office. In order to make sure that there will be no issues along the way, you should conduct some research to find out if your trademark is eligible for registration and is not too similar to any existing trademarks. It would help if you also considered the classes of goods and services you would like to register and the countries where you plan to trade. This will ensure that you will have a complete and accurate trademark application.
Registering a trademark is not rocket science, but it does require some prior research and thought. And although trademark registration can take up to years, the whole process can be quite effortless with the help of a legal professional. In Trama, we strive to simplify the process to make it even more accessible for starting businesses. Try our free verification of registrability to see if your name/logo is distinct enough for trademark registration.
It's too expensive
While not registering a trademark from the start may appear cheaper, in the long run, this leaves a business open to lawsuits from companies who did register one under the same name, sign, slogan, or design. If one of your competitors with registered trademarks files a lawsuit against your brand, they will have the upper hand from a legal perspective, and bearing the costs of such legal disputes can cost up to thousands of euros. If that happens, there is also a chance your business will be forced to re-do your brand identity, from a website to logo to brand name and everything else.
Only big brands need trademarks
Start-ups are usually less concerned about getting a trademark, as they are focused on growing their brand before thinking about how to properly protect it. But while it is true that large companies do have the budget to trademark all of their products and services, they also have the resources to bear the consequences of legal disputes connected to intellectual property rights. Small businesses, unfortunately, usually cannot afford it. That's why it is especially important to ensure that your brand is distinct and legally well-protected, so it can grow uninterruptedly.
My business won't be affected by copycats
With the rise of brand value, trademark infringement cases are also rising year-on-year. A study carried out by CompuMark revealed that 85% of companies have experienced brand infringement in 2020, showing a steady upward trend from 81% in 2018 and 74% in 2017. A significant number of entrepreneurs start thinking about registering their trademark only after they have received opposition. The problem is that at this point, most of the damage to the brand has already been done. So, even if the chances of your business being copied are not that high, it's better to be safe than sorry.
I can always do it later
Timing is crucial in every aspect of establishing a business, and trademark registration is no exception. While it is true that there is no deadline for registering your trademark, doing it from the start offers multiple benefits that your business can profit from. When you launch a new business, or even when you have a new business idea, thinking about how to protect that idea makes it so much easier to avoid potential problems in the future.