Should I Trademark My Startup's Brand?
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And today's question I'm going to answer is - does my startup need to trademark its name?
I get this question all the time. So much so that a while ago, I did my research and looked up the biggest, hottest startups to see when they trademark their brands.
And was no surprise to me that all of them have done it eventually. My question was, how long did it take with them after the launch to file their first trademark application? And the results are very telling.
So, Uber, the $51 Billion Dollar startup: they trademarked their brand 2 months before they launched.
Firefox: 2 months before launch.
Google: same month.
Facebook: same month.
Periscope: same month
And you can go on and on and on. Some of them did it before, some of them did it the same month, some of them did a few months after, some of them did it five or six months after, but important thing that they all did it while they were still nobodies. They all did it when they were not even on the map.
They all did it is for one simple reason: they believed that they could become the next big thing.
So when you asking me, Should I trademark the name of my startup?, what you’re really asking me is, Should I really believe that I'm capable of building something that might become the next big thing?
I can't answer that question for you.
But here’s the thing: if you don't believe that what you're building has any value, why are you spending your time doing it? And if you do believe that there is a chance, not certainty, not probability, a chance, a tiny little chance, that you might end up having something that everybody's going to talk about, that you are creating something that a lot of people would find interesting, that a lot of people would end up using, my advice to you is: trademark your brand as soon as you possibly can. Because it's a lot easier to protect your brand when nobody knows about it, when nobody believes in it the way you do and when nobody has taken steps to take it away from you. You don't have haters, you don't have people who envy you, everybody thinks you are crazy… Good!
Protect the brand, protect the asset! And if it does end up being something big, you'll thank me.
Uber, Google… They didn't say, you know what, let's wait till we have the first million customers, the first hundred thousand visits. They did it because they believed that they could have a million users. They believed that they could have 100,000 visitors. And they did it right away.
And you should as well.
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