Oct 10, 2019
You know you need to protect your brand as you’re building a business—but where do you start? As an entrepreneur you need to protect your intellectual property and what you’re working so hard to build. It begins with choosing a brandable name and getting it trademarked. The process is lengthy and daunting, but Andrei Mincov is here to make it easier.
In this episode of Just the Tips, we interview Andrei Mincov, founder of the Trademark Factory®. He began his career in Russia and had the opportunity to work with big names such as Apple and Microsoft. When he relocated to Canada he had to start from scratch and go through law school again. So he decided he wasn’t going to go the route of working for a major corporation. Instead, he took his love for trademark law and entrepreneurial spirit and started his own business.
The only way to compete in the industry is to have a brandable name that you strive to protect. Your business name is your intellectual property and you need to protect your ideas. To do so you need to build a protectable brand. So what does that look like?
A small business doesn’t have the money to dispute a trademark issue. It’s far better to spend the money on the front end, then lose thousands of dollars in legal fees—or your business.
Look, there are ways that you can research a brand name and find out if you can claim it. You can find a domain name and snag it. Great. You can do a trademark search or pay a 3rd party website to help you through the process. Inevitably, they will let you down.
You can search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) but the results tend to be pretty overwhelming.
The bottom line is—it is not wise to do the legwork yourself. Even if you deem that the brand name is available, the back and forth process of getting your trademark registered is exhausting. So what does Andrei recommend? Hire a trademark attorney—or consider working with his company, The Trademark Factory®.
People often ask Andrei when to start the trademark process. His answer? Immediately. You can’t build a business and choose an arbitrary number and say “When the business is making (insert dollar amount here) then I will invest in the trademark”. There will be no good external validation.
Uber filed a trademark application 2 months before launching the business. Now it’s worth over 50 billion.
Jeff Bezos registered ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon books’ at the very beginning—he built an empire.
Andrei said Coca-Cola started as a “lemonade stand with a dream”. Now it’s a soft-drink know world-wide.
All of these brands started small but understood the importance of protecting what they knew they could build. A trademark is your insurance policy—you hope to never have to use it, but it’s there when you need it.
If you’re doing the work yourself, it can cost a few hundred dollars (for specific numbers, check out USPTO.gov) but it will cost you a lot of time. It’s typically a 14-month process in the US and even longer in Canada—sometimes over 2 years! It’s worth your time to invest in a trademark lawyer.
Andrei’s business gives you a unique alternative to working with a traditional trademark attorney. They charge a flat fee that is 100% refundable if they do not get you your trademark. If your desired name is taken and they cannot complete the process, there is no charge to you.
Listen to the whole episode of Just the Tips as we chat about Andrei’s experience, how Dean had to rebrand his business, a unique mechanism system and so much more!
Go to TrademarkFactory.com/tips to book a call with a strategy advisor and start the conversation about your business, brand, and trademark process.
James P. Friel:
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