In an interview with ArcticStartup I was asked to come up with my best tips to start-ups regarding trademark and their new business name:
1. Choose a name that can be trademarked.
Why? You will avoid conflicts, enable expansion and sleep better. There are two basic requirements on your new trademark:
a) It should not be generic in your business area. The name "CoolApps" is generic if you're going to deliver a new marketplace for apps.
b) No one else should be using a "confusingly similar" trademark in your potential markets. Start your search at markify.com for confusingly similar marks. Avoid all similar marks that are in your line of business. If you are uncertain, contact a trademark attorney.
2. Buy all relevant domain names.
a) For most international start-ups that means a .com. Don't only look for available domain names. Even if the domain name is taken, it often is for sale. Average prices for domain names at auctions are $500
b) Buy 5-10 typos.
c) Buy at least 5-10 country extensions (ccTLDs). Choose the biggest markets where you think you may expand.
3. Register the trademark in your primary market.
In Europe choose the Pan-European CTM trademark, which covers 27 EU countries for a fee of 850 Euros.
In the US a USPTO trademark costs $325.
4. Watch and protect your trademark.
If there is a new confusingly similar application you should act upon it. So sign up for a free trademark watch at Markify.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you think I can help