The first step to branding is choosing an original trademark
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.
With trademark protection, your brand will have exclusive rights to use your mark, this keeps copycats away.
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.
1. Choose which regions & countries you want to protect your brand.
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.
Taking your business global has never been easier but unfortunately, trademarks are highly territorial.
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.
2. Use a brand that is not descriptive of your business (do not use coffee for a coffee selling business)
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.
Unique and memorable brand names, not descriptive ones, are easier to trademark.
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.
3. Choose the trademark classes that match the products and services you sell.
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.
Filing a trademark application in the wrong class will get your request DENIED and the fee is non-refundable
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 [Link to Best Practice 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!