“Protecting the brand is a mandatory expense item for a company like us that’s building a consumer brand.”
Luin Oy, which specialises in high-quality cotton products and home decor, brought Ipriq on board to help it with its trademark strategy. Now that the company can rely on its brand being protected, it’s easy to start expanding from Finland to other continents.
Luin Living creates a good mood and everyday luxury for the home
Noora Mustajärvi and her friend Mari Luodes began their shared Luin Living business journey about five years ago. They wanted to solve an everyday problem familiar to a lot of women. Can the towel you wrap round your head after a shower stay on your head easily, be practical, and even be beautiful? There was no such hair towel on the market then, so the two women, who have commercial backgrounds, took matters into their own hands.
“We decided to build a new consumer brand for the Finnish market. Originally, the idea was a home spa and feeling good after the shower when you don’t need to wrap a large bath towel round your heard. We developed our own towel material with a Turkish manufacturer and launched our first towels under the Luin Spa name,” Mustajärvi says of the early stages of the business.
Later, our range expanded from towel products to bath wear for the whole family and interior decor, and thanks to that the company had to think about a brand refresh in spring 2018.
“We wanted to expand into a larger interior design brand and include sheets, for example, in our product range. We changed from Luin Spa to Luin Living, but the ideology is still the same: we bring a feeling of pampering yourself to everyday situations in every home.”
Trademark rights advice and brand refresh needed expert help
When the business started, Mustajärvi registered the Luin Spa trademark herself. However, for the past couple of years Ipriq has been involved in helping protect the company’s intellectual property rights.
“I contacted Jarmo Talvitie of Ipriq the first time that we needed help with trademark rights. We had been contacted by a Belgian company selling bottled water. They demanded that we cancel our registration of the Luin Spa trademark. They had already registered the ‘spa’ word in the cosmetics class. They were represented by a well-known European law firm, so responding to them alone felt impossible,” Mustajärvi says.
As the company was then overhauling its brand, the situation was resolved, after lengthy correspondence, by removing the Spa part of the company name and replacing it with Living. The change would have happened in any event, but in this way it was able to resolve the dispute that had arisen with the Belgian company.
“The world of trademarks is a strange one, and someone from the other side of the world can appear out of nowhere and say that they’ve registered the same name. Every brand needs a firm that can help it in situations like this,” Mustajärvi says.
“Ipriq provided valuable assistance in thinking about our trademark strategy when we overhauled our brand. The gave us advice on what classes and countries we should register the Luin Living trademark in. We began planning well in advance and we wanted to do it well.”
“The actual registration process was fast. Ipriq took care of all the practical matters and submitted the registration applications. We’re confident that if we have any more questions, Ipriq will be able to help us answer them.”
In trademark registration, the devil is in the detail
Mustajärvi understood from the start how necessary brand protection was, even if it was a big expense item at the time.
“Naturally, all investments are a struggle for a small company in its early stages. But because we were building a consumer brand we were very clear that we had to make sure that no other company could copy us. Protecting the brand is a mandatory expense item for a company like us,” Mustajärvi says.
For Luin Living, seeking the assistance of an expert in intellectual property rights made the whole process faster and brought up perspectives that the company itself would not necessarily have thought of.
“The classes of trademark registration are always complicated, and in our product range, for example, towels are in a different class to bathrobes. We had to be able to consider all necessary classes. Maybe we would have been able to find them ourselves, but we would have had to spend a lot of time doing so.”
“Ipriq also showed us the service classes that apply when registering a trademark. That’s also worth paying attention to, so that no one starts a spa called Luin, for example. I’m quite sure we wouldn’t have thought of that ourselves. Adding another class is not a big deal in terms of cost, so it’s worth it.”
International expansion with peace of mind
Mustajärvi says that can without hesitation recommend the services of Ipriq.
“Our experience of working with them has been really good. Doing business with Ipriq is a pleasure. Everything has gone great and we’re very satisfied with their expertise.”
“For a company like us, for example, that’s quite new, and which has big plans for global expansion, this kind of service is absolutely necessary. You need to bring expertise on board if you’re serious about your business. We’ve been on the market now for three years and we’ve already discovered the first copiers of our product ideas, in China. Unfortunately, we’re not able to protect every single idea.”
The timely investment that Luin Living made to protect its intellectual property rights has given it excellent prospects for seizing opportunities as the company expands internationally.
“We’re doing very well at the moment. We registered in the US right at the start and were aiming at expanding there in 2019, but now it looks like we can get started this year. We’ve also started on some good new openings in Europe and Japan. Deciding to invest in protecting our intellectual property rights when we did was a brilliant decision.”