To protect your products and services from being used or stolen by others, you need trademark protection, enabling you to have an intellectual property claim.
With the introduction of the idea of MaaS (Mobility as a Service), we have seen huge mobility tech startups during the last two decades. The vehicles are not the center of the mobility system anymore, rather the consumers. Rides can be booked, and cars can be shared, all leading to smarter and sustainable transportation.
With the advent of these new trends, there is a growing number of investors and entrepreneurs figuring out: what is mobility trademark protection, how to get it, and what to do with it?
If you are also among them, keep on reading.
Why Do I Need Mobility Startup Trademark Protection?
MaaS is based on providing the best customer service. Therefore, to make certain that your users will reuse and even recommend your service, you should guarantee that they get the best experience while using it.
Getting your mobility startup trademark protected is one way of ensuring that your customer will feel secure and not scammed.
It is also a sure-shot way to protect your brand from possible exploitation.
How to Get a Mobility Startup Trademark?
Whether you enable your users to book various modes of transportation for themselves or provide a goods delivery system through your technology, your travel model needs a trademark.
But how can you get one?
With these simple steps:
1. Choose a Unique, Descriptive Name
You cannot just name your new mobility-based startup "mobility." Instead, you have to be more specific and use a strong word or phrase that describes your brand best. Examples of such descriptive trademarks are Blu-ray, Burger King, BlaBlaCar, etc.
Alternatively, you can use a fanciful or arbitrary trademark. These trademarks consist of new made-up words or use a conventional English word with a new meaning. Kodak, Apple, Uber are few such examples.
While choosing a trademark, you also have to keep in mind that anyone else is not already being used. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO has an official website where you can view and search all the preregistered trademarks to be sure. Otherwise, many paid trademark searching firms can do this job for you professionally.
2. Getting Your Trademark Registered
After choosing a trademark, you have to get it registered. The USPTO has classified several products and services into many classes. So to get your MaaS startup’s registration and protection, you'll need to find the one that describes it best.
We’ve searched for the principle Mobility Trademark Classes, so you don't have to:
- Computer and software-related products (Class 9): if your car-hailing service uses an app for bookings or payments etc., this is the class your startup falls in.
- Communication portals (Class 38): software portals as a source of communication between customers and service providers are protected under this category.
- Transportation services (Class 39): All transportation services, travel arrangements, and storage of goods are categorized into class 39.
- Digital services (Class 42): scientific and technological services fall into class 42. This refers to the SaaS services you offer.
You can also use more than a single category if your product or service matches the description for them.
Finally, apply for your trademark protection through your governing key market. In the United States, the USPTO entertains such applications.
The application for filing for a trademark usually requires the following items:
- Your trademark representation ( the words or a photo in case of a graphic mark)
- Samples of your intended mark usage
- Registration fee
3. Tips for Maintaining Trademark Protection
After being done with the registration process, there are a few additional steps that ensure the protection of your trademark.
- Pay a trademark renewal fee every 5 or 10 years to the USPTO. The registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years. Still, if the applicant does not apply with another statement within the next 5 or 6 years, the registration will expire due to the notion of the trademark not being in use.
- Display your trademark correctly. Use a registered trademark symbol, TM, or SM for common law trademark or common law service mark, respectively.
- Use your trademark often.
- Also, monitor for any exploitation or theft to ensure no one uses your trademark anywhere else.
A trademark may be a registered name or symbol representing a service or product provided by the owner. It is protected by law, and another person or party cannot use it under their name. For starting up a mobility or transportation service, one needs to be informed of the prerequisites and best practices for mobility tech startup trademark protection.
Though the procedure for applying for trademark registration is quite simple, it is time-consuming because it needs thorough research and brainstorming. You can take help from a trademark lawyer to look over the application filing for you.
However you choose to file for it, you will receive confirmation and a summary of your application from your trademark registration office.