Starting from Nothing - The Foundation Podcast | Building your business ENTIRELY from scratch.

Andrei Mincov is the “trademark guy” and founder of Trademark Factory. He earned his PhD in law and worked for the biggest international law firm in Russia doing intellectual property work for the likes of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, J. K. Rowling, DreamWorks and more. When Andrei moved to Canada, he went from being a hotshot lawyer to a nobody. It wasn’t until he read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad that he decided to start his own firm.

In this interview, Andrei teaches us about what a trademark does, and why it’s better to trademark before you launch your company rather than later. He also shares the story of how he became “the trademark guy” and how he challenged himself to become an entrepreneur.

 

 

In This Interview I Ask:

1:05 - How [did] you come to be the “trademark guy” in the Trademark Factory. What’s your story?

6:15 - How long ago did you join the biggest law firm in Russia?

15:00 - Why are trademarks important, and why are we wrong for not thinking about this stuff?

21:23 - You actually did some research on whether or not the top brands and the world were following [the saying “ideas are nothing”]. What did you find?

22:56 - Let’s say I’ve got a vision of building a lifestyle business, and it’s going to be $100k a year, roughly, is there any value in me going out and trademarking it if I have no intention of going bigger?

24:33 - Does [having a trademark] raise my value if I’m eventually going to sell a company? Is that going to allow me to get a bigger price for my business when I sell it?

27:42 - Are you educating people through your marketing on why they need trademarks or are you just doing traditional marketing in the traditional sense where you are making yourself known to people who are looking for a trademark?

32:46 - What is the cost [of trademarking] dependent on, or is there a flat cost for me to go out and get a trademark?

36:39 - Where can we go if we want to see some educational [trademark] cartoons?

 

 

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is anything that allows the market to tell your stuff apart from identical or similar products or services of your competitors.

The trademark has nothing to do with protecting the product or service itself but has everything to do with the way people identify it.

The more competitive the environment, the more important the branding becomes because everyone is doing the same thing. It’s so easy to copy those ideas so the only thing that will allow you to have the competitive advantage is to protect the brand.

“If you don’t protect your competitive advantage, you don’t have a competitive advantage.”

 

 

3 Reasons Why Protecting Your Trademark is Vital for Any Business

  1. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to minimize the risk of receiving a lawsuit
    Without trademark protection, a company may decide to register your brand as their trademark. They can then demand that you stop using your brand and rebrand yourself or pay them money
  2. It makes it easier and cheaper to go after competitors who come up with similar trademarks.
  3. It allows you to build a brand and asset for your business.

“If you’re running a business [and] you don’t think the value of the business is more than a few hundred thousand dollars, basically it’s a hobby. It’s not a business.”

 

Trademark Your Brand Before You Launch

All the big, hot startups (like Uber, Firefox, Facebook, Google, etc) filed their first trademark applications within the same month, if not many months, prior to launching. One thing that distinguishes these founders from other entrepreneurs is that they believed they could be the next big thing; so they did what potential big things do and protected their assets.

“Trademarks are all about timing. You need to be the first. Just because your trademark was available yesterday, doesn’t mean it’ll be available today.”

 

Trademarking is Not a Huge Investment

The cost of trademarking is marginal is compared to the cost of filing a patent. A patent typically requires tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life.

When determining if you should trademark or not, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would you be okay with having to rebrand your business?
  • Would you be okay with a competitor using the same brand to do the same business?
  • Is there any value in the brand when you’re not doing the work?

If the answer is yes to all, then you don’t have a business.

 

How Trademarks Affect the Sale of Your Company

Whenever someone buys a company, they do their due diligence. They check competitors to see if your business may be infringing on someone else’s. They check to make sure all your logos and branding assets are protected. If everything is protected, it makes it easier for the buyer.

They’re not just buying your systems, but also your customers and the time that you invested building your brand. If they can’t take advantage of that, that’s a problem. The brand affects the value of the company.

 

Show Links:

Trademark Factory, website

Request Your Free Trademark Search, fill out the form

Trademark Educational Cartoons, website

Direct download: Episode_169_-_Andrei_Mincov.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26am CST

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