FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2 Mindset Mistakes Around Trademark Registration

What are the 2 mindset mistakes most entrepreneurs have around trademark registration?

Read more about this below: 


Andrei, What is the First Mindset Mistake People Make with Trademark Registration?

The first mistake is focusing on the brand itself in isolation from the business that the brand is supposed to represent. And this mistake really has two sides to it. On the one hand, it's putting too much attention to the brand and hoping that the name itself—you came up with a cute name, go through the trademark registration process, and that by itself is going to somehow build the business for you. 

And the second side of the same mistake really is ignoring the importance of building a brand by simply thinking, "Hey, my brand, there's nothing special about it, I don't need to protect it, because it's not anything special." 

What Makes a Trademark Trademarkable? How do I register a trademark?

Think about it this way, a trademark is a legal right to force your monopoly on your brand. And your brand is nothing other than that which helps the market tell your products and services apart from identical or similar products and services of everyone else. 

So if you're not planning to start a business, if you're not planning to offer products and services—products or services under that brand to the world, don't worry about the brand and most certainly about trademarking. Because again unless you've got a brand that's designed to identify your products or services to the world, it's not a brand—it's just a cute idea.

Register a trademark with your business’ products and services in mind. Maybe a cute name, a cute phrase, a cute image—but that does not become a brand until that brand, name, phrase or image represents some product or service. And, I mean, of course, there's a way for you to register a trademark before you launch your products to the market. That's what a lot of successful businesses do. 

But they don't go out there trademarking random names, random images, random phrases—unless they have an idea that they're going to launch a product or service that's going to be identified by that name. 

And so, going back to the two sides of the same mistake, here's what we see a lot: on the one hand, you would get a business owner who comes up with—or you can't even call them a business owner because they don't have a business…Somebody comes up with, "Oh, that's a great name!", "That's a great word!", or "That's a great image!" and they just want to, you know, own it. They just want to own the name. 

They just want to own the image. They just want to own the phrase. And that's not how trademarks work.

Know Your Project Before Registering a Trademark

When we ask them, "Okay, great, you came up with this name. What products or services are you going to offer to the world under this brand?" Some business owners respond simply with, "I just want a trademark." 

So you can't "just register a trademark.” You have to trademark in connection with specific products and services, and if you're not planning to offer products or services to the world (well, when I say "to the world" it doesn't have to be worldwide) - to the market - it could very well be local, national, or global. 

Unless you have an idea of what product and services you're going to offer to the market, you don't have a brand. That which you came up with is not a brand, and it's not worth registering a trademark. 

The flip side to that is when a real business owner has a real business, has a real product, real service they're offering to the world, the name they came up with to them is not special. They don't look at it as something super creative, super original, and they dismiss the importance of trademarking. 

And to those people who always say, "Hey, it's not about coming up with a great name, or it's not about coming up with a great brand,” it's about coming up with a unique brand, and making it great over time. 

The Apple Story

There's nothing unique, really, about the word "Apple," but because Steve Jobs and the company put so many great products and services to the world, now the brand is worth billions of dollars. Not because "Apple" is such a brilliant idea. 

It's not that Steve Jobs was sitting there in his garage, and thinking, "Okay, I got to come up with a great name," and spent a month thinking of a great name. And then when he got it he called Steve Wozniak and said, "Hey! you know what? I have this great idea. It's an amazing idea. We're going to—I don't know exactly what we're going to do, but we are gonna call our company Apple."

That's not how it happened - and if that is how it happened, you would not have an iPhone in your pocket right now. 

He came up with the idea that they're going to be building computers that are easy for people to use, that people are going to love, that people are going to fall in love with, that people are going to line up for at five in the morning. That was the idea. And Apple was the symbol of that idea. But the greatness of this was not in the name itself. 

It could've easily been any other word. it could've been pineapple, could've been orange. 

The name did not really define the value of the brand, it's the products and services that did. And the uniqueness of course - of picking the dictionary word and making it a brand of a company. 

So that's how it works. So when you've got a real business - a real product, a real service and you came up with a name for it, don't dismiss it. As your products and services become more and more recognized by the market, the value of the brand also grows. 

Pick a Name That Represents The Products and Services You Provide

So you've got to register a trademark not because you came up with such a "clever" name, but because whatever name you came up with represents your products and services.

And if you came up with a brand that is copying somebody—maybe somebody else trademarked it, then that is a crappy name. You're right. Instead of saying, "Well I'm just going to go on as it is and not trademark my brand," you gotta go back to the drawing board. 

You got to come up with a new brand that is unique and build goodwill around that. So that's the first big mistake - looking at your brand in isolation from the business, the products, and services you're putting out there to the world.

The Second Mindset Mistake

The second big mistake that we see entrepreneurs make is treating trademarks as something like, "If I can get it for a couple of bucks, great, and if not that's okay too". So that's the mistake we see a lot, especially with entrepreneurs or "wantrepreneurs" who use the low price cheap trademarking services out there. 

They look and think, "Oh, what does it cost? $69? $99? You know, what's the risk? If I can get a trademark for $69, great. And if not, that's fine too. Not much of a loss there."

Trademarking is a long process that usually takes at least a year or more. So it’s a worthy investment if you think your business will still be around a year from now, two years, or five years from now. 

If you're building something with value, if you're maybe building a legacy around it in the long-term, then treat it as something that has value. And really, it's not even about the price, it's about attitude. It's about mindset.

Treat Your Trademark as a Must-Have

You can file your own trademark and just pay the government fees, but you have to treat it as a must-have. You must treat it as what trademarks really are designed for—they're designed to help you enforce a monopoly over something that you feel is valuable. If you end up treating it like, "Uhhh if I have it great, if I don't…" it won’t work.

Remember, you are building your own brand and you have to love your brand before the market loves it. Nobody's going to love your brand more than you do, and if you treat it like an afterthought, the market will as well.

So these are the two big mistakes that I wanted to go over in this video. So ask yourself two questions—the first question is, "Are you building a business?” Are you going to have products and services under the brand you came up with? 

And the second question you ask yourself is "Are you going to be serious about it?" 

If the answer to either of the two is no - you're not building a business, or you're not going to be serious about it. In that case, I recommend that you don't bother with trademarks. Don't waste your time, don't waste your money, don't waste anybody's time and money to do your trademarking process for you.

 Because that's not the right mindset to do it. If your answer to both these questions is yes, then you are going to build a real business, and you are going to be serious about it. Then I invite you to click the link on the description to this video and either book a call with our strategy advisors (the call is free), or you can get started by filling up a form online. 

Call Us Today

And we'd welcome you with the brand that you value, with the brand that you treasure. Because that brand represents a real business, real products, real services, that you're planning to bring to the world and treat seriously. Really, that's as simple as it is. 

Now regardless of whether you're going to use Trademark Factory® to register a trademark for your brand, I hope that this video was helpful, I hope you learned something useful. 


Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.