A few years ago, Jordan wrote a blog post about the planning involved in building a brand or starting a new business. Our experience has shown that most entrepreneurs put an enormous amount of time into research and planning. But as the saying goes, too many focus just on doing things right—instead of doing the right things.
For example, you do everything right to research your market, improve your product or service, identify your customers, and you refine every last pixel of your shiny new website before launch. Your financing is arranged, your budget is flawless, and your pitch deck should really be the template for a tech bro starter pack. The problem is, you never bothered to google the new name you chose or run a search with the USPTO. Your dreams of being a startup unicorn are now dashed by a trademark troll who just ruined your Friday afternoon with a demand letter.
The solution is simple:
- Always research the name for your idea/company before you commit to building anything else dependent on that name. (It’s often better to build the product first and name it later—kind of like children)
- Call your friendly lawyer at Campbell Teague for help researching the USPTO and any other intellectual property pitfalls for copyright, trademark, and patent issues. Statutory damages for IP infringement make Darth Vader look like Papa Smurf.
- When you land on a name or create something valuable, get it registered. Don’t wait for someone to steal your idea and beat you to the Office Action. It’s a whole lot cheaper to register something you don’t use than to lose your a$$ in litigation.
We don’t know why so many brilliant people continue to make this same mistake, but we want to help your business grow and succeed. So do the right things—in the right order. Aim before you fire.