You’ve probably read the title and are expecting an article outlining the reasons why it’s so important to trademark and how to do it. But that’s not why I’m writing today, I am really asking the question – why bother trademarking?
I’ll fill you in on the backstory.
Like a good business owner, I trademarked my business in 2012.
Then, approx a year ago, a business trademarked a name very similar to mine, in the same Industry, servicing the same people, with similar offerings.
I consulted with my lawyer on sending a cease and desist letter to the other party – but after checking with IP Aust it turns out they had received a trademark in the exact same Class as me! (there are many different Classes you can register under ie. 35 is business services and 41 is mentoring)
After further enquiry, it turned out that when the person checking the mark had searched for competition in the Class – they had used the term Motivated to search – not Motivat – which is why I didn’t show up. Huge error on their part.
The only option we had was to contest the trademark and have it revoked and I paid the princely sum of $800 (which I do not have) to have my lawyer draft the appropriate information and send it off.
Fast-forward two months or so and it turns out that the business simply changed their description slightly with IP Aust so they have been allowed to remain in the Class and, therefore, in the same Industry as me with pretty much the same name!
It’s hugely frustrating as, firstly, I don’t understand why anyone would want a name similar to mine in the same Industry anyway. Secondly, I don’t understand the point in trademarking when it seems I’m not protected anyway. And, thirdly, it’s all great trademarking but if you don’t have the money to pursue it – which I don’t – what’s the point?
So, I ask you again, why bother trademarking?
Now excuse me while I go off and punch a wall.