17 Seconds #11

17 Seconds: useful info quickly.

17 Seconds

Why do I like working with startups? There are many reasons. One of the biggest is that startups have the most intellectual property needs early in their lifecycle, and that’s precisely when Clocktower can do the most good.

The single biggest thing that all companies (not just startups) can do to strengthen their patents and trademarks is to integrate IP planning into the product lifecycle. Every time you are launching a new product, launching an incremental improvement to a product (think version 1.1 of your software), rebranding a product, or buying/selling a company, you should involve your IP counsel.

It’s way easier to do a good trademark search and pick a good name than it is to launch a product with a bad name and have to rebrand later. Search trademarks before launching to save money on rebranding.

It’s way easier to do a good patent search to see if patents make sense than it is to launch a product that might infringe other patents. Searching patents before launching also preserves your ability to get US and foreign patents.

Shortcuts in your IP strategy will always be uncovered by competent IP due diligence, which almost always precedes funding or M&A events.

Prevention is way better than cure. And way less expensive.

We recommend prevention.

17 Seconds #8

17 Seconds gives you useful info quickly.

17 Seconds

If you think about a trademark as a “mark” of a “trade,” then it makes more sense.

Consider the origins of branding. Farmers needed a way to identify their cows from their neighbor’s cows, so they branded (i.e. burned) their unique brand (mark) into their cows (trade). If one brand looks too much like another, then the brands are not doing their job, and we can’t tell whose cow is whose.

And if one trademark is too close to another – and if the goods are also too similar – then there is a “likelihood of confusion” between the two marks.

By the way, trademark lawyers often use “marks” and “trademarks” synonymously. Ditto for “trademarks” and “servicemarks.”