When it comes to creating a startup – regardless of which area you’re tackling – you need to realize that creating a trademark for the company is crucial. Not only does trademarking the logo, tag lines and everything related to your company protect your business identity, it protects the company against copyright infringement more effectively.
It’s also important to note that registering a domain or company name for your business simply doesn’t offer any protection.
In the tech.eu article Olga Steidl from Berlin-based customer relations platform Inbot shares her hard-learned experience and outlines practical things startups should consider to avoid legal trouble.
Earlier this year, when her startup was still known as Linko, her team, like many other startups, wasn’t sure about the particulars regarding trademarking and didn’t file any official trademark papers nor US “intent-to-use” applications due to their costly and complex nature. Instead,they took a risk and began promoting the brand of a beta product – which was connected to the Linko name – and built up its identity.
Little did theyr know about the existence of Linko Data Systems – a Colorado-based company that one could describe as managing toilet water systems. Their name/website never came up in the initial search, so Olga and her team thought it’d be okay… They thought wrong.
Eventually, Linko Data Systems filed a trademark in the categories where Olga’s startup future launched product would be operating and they received a cease and desist letter. Later they were forced to change the company name.