Coming up with a good name is one of the most important tasks for a name company. It is also often very difficult. Here’s a simple roadmap of trademark’s lifecycle.
Invent name candidates. Start with many name candidates. Remember that in order to be registrable, a name must be “distinctive”. Those names that describe the product or service are not distinctive.
Clear your trademarks before use. Make sure that you can actually use your trademark. If somebody else has registered the same or similar name for same or similar products/services, you run the risk of intellectual property infringement. In the worst case scenario you will have to stop using your trademark and pay damages for infringement. It’s better to evaluate the legal point landscape for your trademark before starting its use. Repeat this step as many times as you need to be confident that your proposed name can be used without legal problems.
Register domains. Register necessary domains. The optimal order between registering domain and trademark is not easy to determine. The challenge is that if you submit your trademark application, there’s a risk that minutes later somebody has already registered the corresponding domain name. Remember, domain names are really fast and cheap to register.
Apply for trademark as early as possible. It is important to file the first trademark application as early as possible. From the first application you will get a six month priority period to expand the protection to other countries. Many companies that grew to be global giants, like Coca-Cola, Uber and Google, registered their first trademarks at the very beginning, or even before the company was establish.
Use your trademark correctly. The more you use your trademark and more recognised it gets, the more valuable it will be. Just make sure that you use your trademark correctly. Don’t use it as a verb or a as a descriptive term for your product or service. Also, use the ® and ™ symbols appropriately. Remember to document your use so that your trademark cannot be cancelled for non-use by others. Finally, if you see other companies infringing on your trademark, take action. Not dealing with infringements will dilute the strengh and value of your trademark.
Renew registrations. Trademark rights can be valid forever. However, you must remember to renew the registrations every 10 years. Once you have registered your trademark, its maintenance is very cheap. The main expense is the renewal that takes place every ten year.