The 7 Costly Mistakes People Make When Turning their Big Idea into a Business, or when Branding or Rebranding Anything
Since a brand gives your idea or product identity, not registering it as a trademark leaves you wide open.
Your market share could be stolen by a competitor if they use the same name and register it themselves because you haven’t bothered to do so.
Can you imagine what it would mean to your business if somebody else registered their business using your name or one very similar to yours, even though you used the name first?
It would cost a lot of money to argue it out with them. Effectively, you risk losing ownership of your own name!
If you weigh the very affordable cost of registering your brand versus the cost and trouble of legal suits over an unregistered name, you will understand why it is wise to take no chances.
The same way you secure your website or Shopify site with a password or your physical business with doors and security right from the start so you should secure your intangible assets, such as your business name.
If you take the security of your brand and IP with the same seriousness that you take your website security and physical business’ security, you will be on the right track. It is a big risk not to register your brand name as a trademark immediately you decide on a name.
Many entrepreneurs have watched their businesses go up in smoke – not from the theft of their products but from the theft of their idea, their brand – which is the very essence of their business. All because they did not take any measures to get a good name and secure it right from the beginning.
Do bear in mind that registration alone does not give you the protection you need though. You first need to establish that the name is available for you to adopt. That means getting a trademark lawyer’s advice on it as mentioned in Mistake #5. The UK and EU trademark offices will not stop someone else registering exactly the same name as an existing trademark. In the USA, the USPTO would stop a duplicate registration though.
So, assuming you are in the UK or EU, or some other country that allows duplicates registrations, then remember you get no protection simply by registering the name. This is clear from the case of Microsoft’s SKYDRIVE!
Not protecting the brand and visual identity through trademark registration is a mistake
Of course, trademarks are not the only type of IP to worry about. Remember, you don’t get any protection for your idea or invention if you disclose it before registering a patent, and you have a limited window of opportunity to secure design registration for an innovative design concept. And when it comes to trademarks, there’s a lot more to them than simply registering a mark.
Lack of protection risks your distinctive brand elements becoming generic. Coca Cola would never have secured a monopoly over its iconic bottle shape if it had not protected its designs at the outset when the design was first created.
In a nutshell, when you have an idea take the right steps to turn it into valuable intellectual property. IP assets don’t automatically just exist. You need to identify, capture and secure the IP in your idea. That involves making the right choices, such as of the name you give it. Otherwise, you could fail to create value from your idea.
The lesson is simple – if you’re an inventor, or entrepreneur with an idea, IP is crucial to you as is the brand you create. If you have an idea to better serve your clients, an idea to make your difference in the world, then give it the best chance of success. Take account of IP as it will be important to your plans.
Find out more how BrandTuned helps you turn that idea into commercial form or to fine tune your existing brand and business.