As a budding entrepreneur, you’ve got a great business. It’s profitable and you’re excited! Now it’s time to choose a proper brand name.
Imagine building a brand with an ideal name, logo, product design, active website, and ad copies, only to get stopped shortly after and charged with trademark infringement. And you knew nothing about it!
The first step to branding your business is choosing and registering a trademark. Your trademark, including brand name, logo, tagline, and even your product design and packaging are all part of your company’s valuable assets. It’s the face of your company, and the primary way your brand will be identified by both customers and investors.
A unique and well-protected trademark symbolizes your brand reputation, goodwill and recognition. So, how do you start your search for a unique trademark?
Here are 3 steps to get you started on the right path.
With the world continuously merging into a global village, online marketplaces and e-commerce businesses are growing stronger and becoming more profitable with each passing day. This new reality makes international trademark protection more important than it’s ever been.
Having exclusive rights to a trademark in the EU does not give you such rights in USA, China, or other parts of the world. International trademark protection helps your brand expand and go beyond the shores of its home country without the risk of facing a trademark infringement lawsuit. Apply for trademark registration as early as possible in your key markets increases your chances of getting accepted, else someone else may obtain the exclusive rights to your brand.
Many branding experts advise startups and new businesses to choose a descriptive name for their business. Their reason being that it immediately conveys what your brand is about to customers and easier to get picked up by search engines.
This may seem smart and easy, but it also comes with many downsides including a much higher probability of being unable to receive trademark protection under international trademark law. For instance, Apple for computers, Amazon for an e-commerce store, instead of “LawnPros” for a lawn care business. Your trademark should be distinct and not descriptive.
The European intellectual property office (EUIPO) divides trademarks into 45 different categories; 34 for products and 11 for services. These categories are called trademark classes, and the EUIPO uses them to keep track of the hundreds of thousands of trademarks filed each year. Each trademark class provides information about the type of good or service that the mark represents.
When registering your trademark, it is very important to file the application in the proper class, and any mistake about this may get your application rejected. If you are dealing with a new product or service, placing it in the right class may be difficult. Accurately identifying the trademark class to which your products or services belong may take some research and expertise. You can use our best practice trademark protection guides to get some pro tips.
In your quest for a unique trademark, you can bypass these rigorous steps if you let us help you. Search for your trademark on digip.com now!
Branding is the basis of building a solid business as it embodies the goodwill, brand reputation and recognition. The trademark of your company is a critical asset and you’ve decided to have it registered and protected by law. So, you have your application underway, but do you know what happens after you file your trademark application?
Okay, let’s get it out!
Once you file your trademark application and it arrives at the EUIPO, your application is first given a number, then someone will look through it to see if everything is in order and as it should be. You’ll receive a receipt that acknowledges that your filling has been received and is being processed in the digip platform. Then you wait for a few months.
A lawyer working with the EUIPO will review your application to determine whether it is consistent with the requirements. The reviewer will also determine if your mark is qualified for trademark protection under European Trademark Law; your marks must not contain generic names or descriptive words for your business, must not infringe on an existing mark and must be filled under the appropriate trademark class.
If there are any corrections to be made in your application, you will be notified by us with recommendations on how to proceed. If the reviewing lawyer does not find any fault with your application, then it is published in the EUIPO’s Official Database for the public to review. If nobody objects to the registration of your mark, it gets registered.
While your mark is in the public’s eye, anyone can choose to get your mark registered as a domain name before you even get the chance. Of course, once you have exclusive rights to the mark you can get the domain name surrendered to you by law. But wouldn’t it be much better to avoid domain name disputes by registering one for your mark even before you file your trademark application?
Use the digip platform to register your domain name before your trademark goes public.
The digip platform will manage your application and recommend any changes to improve your chances of getting approved. Many prompt legal decisions are taken during the process of getting a trademark registered, we only involve attorneys where it really matters speeding up the process and saving money.
While your trademark application is under review with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), issues may arise that need prompt response and an Office Action will be filed. An Office Action from the EUIPO must be handled urgently and accurately, otherwise you risk having your mark rejected. Every step of the way, our trademark experts and attorneys monitor your application until it’s approved. You can also follow your application and receive updates in your digip customer zone.
While the EUIPO gives you exclusive right to use your mark, they do not monitor how it’s used. The duty to protect your mark from infringement is yours. Now you may be wondering how you can focus on building your business while also watching the marketplace for copycats. But you don’t have to. As your trademark attorney we take up that responsibility from you. We monitor both new trademark filings once they are published for infringement and authorized users of your mark. Once we find an infringement of your mark, we take the appropriate action immediately.
No need to struggle to do this on your own. We offer free search and 100% customer satisfaction. You are entitled to a full refund all the way up to when your application is filed with the EUIPO.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully registered your trademark and taken the first actual step towards building a reputable brand. But don’t get so caught up on celebrations because the work isn’t over just yet. Yeah, even after the rigorous process of filing and waiting for your mark to be registered, you’ve still got some more work with protecting your mark and monitoring the mark for infringements on your mark.
First things first though; after your trademark application is registered, we will store your trademark registration certificates in your Customer zone. Then what next?
During your trademark registration, you were probably using TM (™), but once your mark is registered you will have to start using the small R in a circle ®. The sign ® should appear on your websites, on your product packaging and labels, on your marketing copies and everywhere your brand name appears. This is the correct usage and establishes the strength of your mark. Using your mark correctly will make the public aware that the mark is registered and protected by law. Remember that even after registration, trademark protection is based on correct and active usage
Once registered, your trademark will need to be renewed promptly to stay viable. Newly registered trademarks are usually valid for at least 10 years before you’ll need to file for renewal. And the renewal date is usually the date of the first registration.
After your European trademark is registered, we can easily scale your trademark protection to other countries outside EU. Will
Digip platform will manage and guarantee the renewal of your trademark.
You can easily track the status of your mark and find your renewal date in the digip platform. We will also manage any communications from the authorities regarding your trademark on your behalf.
Trademark protection and rights depend on active usage and not just registration, and even after your mark is registered you’ll still need to monitor the market to find out anyone who may be illegally using your registered mark.
If you do not find an infringement on your mark and take action promptly, the infringement won’t stop and your mark will be weakened. And if your mark is not actively used, an infringing party may claim that your mark is not in use, therefore their use of the mark has made it legitimate and strong, so they can claim it.
No need to struggle to do this on your own we provide you all expert advice to proactively protect your registered trademark.
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