Many of you have probably followed all sorts of Intellectual Property discussions, such as the various advanced trademark lawsuits and the discussions about SOPA/PIPA/IPRED laws, but how many of you know how the business of tradmarking actually works?
I’ve done some extensive research into the subject, and what I found out scared me. The IP rights offices around the globe are screwing the persons wanting to trademark as much as the big businesses screws their customers over. Let’s take the UK Intellectual Property Office as an example.
Every business expert tells you that you need to trade mark your business, to protect it. The IP office in UK is the obvious first destination, where you can easily handle this business online in less than 20 minutes, but here’s the kicker:
Trade Marks aren’t handed out, it is a pretty advanced filtering system you need to go through first. They check all sorts of things to ensure that your trade mark wouldn’t affect other peoples trade marks, and that is good, they should do that.
That costs money however, and that money will come out of your pocket. They charge a minimum of 170£ (roughly 230$) to accept your application, no matter if they grant you the trade mark or not. ON top of that are various fees for services that you can opt out of, but that are recommended. There is a higher tier you can pay, that costs 100£ on application, but if it goes through, you are required to pay another 100£ to get the approval.
This seems like roulette to me, because there is no way for a person to find out if the trade mark infringes on someone elses trade mark with all these rules and regulations, so you either end up putting the 100-170£ in the slot machine and pull the lever, or pay 500-1000£ for an expert to do it for you, still with no guarantees.
Of course the big companies that tosses out 50-60 trade marks a year will screw everyone over after that, they are spoonfed with the very same business concept from the start of their business! If this is business 101, then I don’t dare to think what business 102 looks like!