65. Andrei Mincov: How To Protect Your Brand With Intellectual Property

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The Brand Builder Show
65. Andrei Mincov: How To Protect Your Brand With Intellectual Property

If you want to build a real, defensible business it’s essential you consider intellectual property (IP).

IP such as trademarks, patents, and copyright help you protect your brand from ill-meaning competitors whilst at the same time increasing the value of your business.

In this week’s episode of the Brand Builder Show, we’re joined by trademark expert Andrei Mincov to break down the steps you need to take to ensure you’re fully protected on all fronts.

We talked about the different types of intellectual property, when you should pursue each one, and some common mistakes to avoid.

If you’re serious about building a long-lasting, sellable brand – this is a must listen episode!

Episode Links

Talking Points

00:00 Introduction to Guest: Andrei Mincov

01:14 Background of Andrei

06:00 Andrei’s favorite five

08:33 When should someone get a trademark, copyright, patent, etc

13:21 What to prioritize if you want to protect your business

17:58 Defining what is registerable

22:43 Andrei’s take on misspellings and brands that sound alike

23:55 Cost of registering your trademark

26:59 Countries within the scope of Trademark Factory’s services

30:49 When to protect your brand globally

34:10 3 benefits of getting a trademark

37:55 More about Trademark Factory and the services they offer

40:02 Where to find Andrei

Ben Donovan  00:00
Hey folks, welcome back to another episode of the brand builders Show. Today is going to be as always another great episode, I’m looking forward to digging into a topic that a lot of people have confusion with, they struggle to understand fully how to go about trademarking and getting intellectual property for the products and the brands that they own. And so we’re going to be diving into that today with our guest, Andre. Andre. Welcome to the show today. Hopefully, I pronounced your name right.
Andrei Mincov  00:25
You did? You did? Surprisingly, but happy to be here.
Ben Donovan  00:31
Good, man. Nice. It’s great to have you I’m looking forward to, you know, talking about a topic which, you know, there’s some basic, you know, solutions for but there’s also some more complex things that brand owners need to understand in the world of intellectual property and protecting their creation. So it’s going to be a very, very useful episode for a lot of people, I’m sure to give us sort of some background on who you are. Firstly, we’d love to hear about your history. And what brought you to this point. And then, you know, we’d love to obviously ask you our favorite five and get some information on you about the different topics that we do do that was but yeah, start off, give us a bit of a background on who you are, and how you got to be here today on the Brand Builder show.
Andrei Mincov  01:14
All right. So probably you can hear it from my name, maybe my accent. I’m originally from Russia. It was Andre Minkoff was born there and got into this industry, because of my dad, it was a famous composer in Russia. And I just went to my first law school in Russia. And then he found one of his songs being used without his permission by a radio station that made it into an ad for Samsung. And so he asked me if I could help him take them to court, which I said, Of course, I had no idea about copyright, I had no idea about intellectual property. But nobody really did at that time, because Russia just switched from Soviet Union to more free market economy. So it was new for everybody. And so I went there. And two years later, we won, I got passionate about protecting IP and helping people not get what they created, stolen from them, or to the biggest international law firm before I left Russia, Baker McKenzie for five years, you know, help companies like Apple, Microsoft trinium, works with their IP, and then in Oh, seven, I had enough of Russia. And I moved to Canada, and had to go back to law school there, again, three more years of law school. And I wanted to go back to what I was passionate about, which is IP. And contrary to what I hoped would happen, nobody wanted to hire me. And so I started my own firm after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I’m like, if I can’t start on my own, and you know, make enough money to survive, maybe this is not the path I should be, you know, going on, and somehow with work that started my my law firm, and very quickly, probably on day three, I realized that there’s something missing from being a successful law firm, which is clients, right? I never had to chase for clients. I never had to really drum up business in my life before. And very quickly, I realized that, hey, it doesn’t matter how much you know, doesn’t matter how good of a lawyer you are, you need clients.
Andrei Mincov  03:26
So as I went on the path of entrepreneurship, and, you know, hundreds of seminars, webinars, books and trainers later, I came up with this idea of trademark factory, which is the company that I founded, I’m still CEO of, we’re the only firm in the world that offers trademarking services with a guaranteed results for a guaranteed budget, I was so scared of starting something that wouldn’t be different from everyone else, that I came up with something that nobody has replicated 11 years later, so pretty, pretty happy about that. So and So last year, I moved to Dubai. Now it’s truly a virtual international operation. We primarily filed trademarks in the US and Canada, but really, we can do it anywhere.
Ben Donovan  04:14
Yeah, nice, nice and how he’s living in Dubai, because a lot of entrepreneurs will be listening to this and thinking, you know, where they want to live when they’ve got a business that isn’t tied to a certain location, the the idea of well I can live anywhere comes up in Dubai’s quite a hotspot for entrepreneurs. How are you? How are you finding it?
Andrei Mincov  04:31
I am absolutely loving it here. It’s it’s it’s a it’s a magical place. Really. You got the beaches and you got the skyscrapers, like next to one another. So it’s not just a beach city. And it’s not just business city. It’s a perfect mix of both for me. So really, one of the one of the things that became a game changer for me in Canada, you know, nothing’s happening. It’s stupidly, this really no, not a lot of opportunities to spend the money. So you’re not as incentivized to grow the business to become better. Because it’s enough. When you move to Dubai, you’re surrounded with stuff that you you want. And suddenly, you got millions of different ideas how to make your business stronger, how to grow, how to expand how to give more people, the value that you can. So that’s, that’s really been my my biggest breakthrough in the last 12 months or so.
Ben Donovan  05:34
Awesome, man. Awesome. And we will dive into obviously trademarks and copyright patents, that kind of thing. In a minute just to further round out your, you know, an introduction for you, for our audience love to ask a quick fire lightning round of your favorite five on a few topics. So first of all, do you have a favorite ecommerce brand?
Andrei Mincov  05:55
I have to explain why or just named or
Ben Donovan  05:57
you can give a brief explanation if you want.
Andrei Mincov  06:00
Ben Donovan  06:01
Andrei Mincov  06:01
Really? I keep buying stuff from them and they deliver no matter where I am. So yeah,
Ben Donovan  06:08
how and how is Amazon in? In Dubai? Like it’s pretty. It’s growing right in the in the Middle East?
Andrei Mincov  06:13
It is it is and they’re the only ones who deliver on time, which is great. Everyone else has their issues here. They say it’s going to be here on a date. It’s going to be there on a certain day.
Ben Donovan  06:26
Yeah. Yeah. Interesting for our Amazon sellers that listen, it’s a great market to expand into. So watch this space. It’s definitely a growing one. Okay, what about a software or tool that helps you run your business?
Andrei Mincov  06:38
Ben Donovan  06:39
Nice. Yep. What about an organic marketing channel?
Andrei Mincov  06:43
YouTube, I got about 1000 videos published about trademarks and love are free. And we find that a lot of clients come from there.
Ben Donovan  06:54
Nice and what about a paid marketing channel?
Andrei Mincov  06:59
For now, Facebook.
Ben Donovan  07:02
And do you have a favorite business book?
Andrei Mincov  07:05
I got to name just one.
Ben Donovan  07:07
If you can, I mean if it has to be more or less fun.
Andrei Mincov  07:12
Built to Sell John Warrillow. Yes. Probably a big game changer in how I build trademark factory another great book. I mean, there’s so many of them. Another one that I really found inspiration was the hard thing about hard things. The name of the author slips me by now. But it’s one of the better managerial books out there.
Ben Donovan  07:43
Yeah, it’s a memorable, memorable title. So I’m sure people will, will remember that. Yeah, a Built to Sell is a very good, very good book. Definitely worth every entrepreneur reading if you’re trying to build a sellable business. And then yeah, hard thing about hard things. I’ll definitely, definitely be checking that one out. That’s good. Good stuff. Okay. Well, let’s talk about your, your expertise, that area you’ve been working in for so long now. And the difference really, I think, when new sellers, new ecommerce operatives come into the space, they will be thinking, Well, how do I get a copyright? Or is it a patent I need or hold on women trademark? What do I need? You know, that’s the first and foremost question. So are you able to give us a bit of a brief explanation of when someone should get trademark when they should get copyright when they should get a patent for their, their products or their brand?
Andrei Mincov  08:33
Usually what happens is they bunch everything together and gets things like how do I patent my brand or copyright my idea? Always, always gets a few giggles on our end. So copyright. Let’s start there. Copyright really is for protecting content, like your music, your videos, your images, your books, your software, usually more of long form things that that you’re trying to protect the expression from copying copied by someone else. Patents, they are about protecting your genius idea for products and more rarely ways of doing things where the what you’re protecting is the novelty around it. Right. And like I’m actually going to give example in the second, trademarks are for protecting brands, could be names could be logos could be taglines.
Andrei Mincov  09:33
So if you look at you know, an iPhone, right, you got all of this in one small device. So copyright would be for the all the apps for software for all the books that you’re reading all the videos that you watch, that’s copyright patents, is all the tech that makes this baby run, right. There’s also design patterns for how it looks like. It used to be this famous thing with, you know, the phone with rounded corners. And everyone kept mocking Apple for being able to get a design patent on that. But the funny thing is, when they did nobody had phones with rounded corners, right rectangles with rounded with rounded corners, and now everyone has them. And for logos, for trademarks, you’ve got, you know, the logo, you’ve got the name, Apple, you got the name, iPhone, all of that, of course is trademarked. So and on top of that, there’s also trade secrets, which is confidential information that has value because it’s being unknown to most people. So there’s different things that can be protected with different types of IP. And it’s pretty, pretty neat structure. Yeah. Obviously, the name of your company would suggest you deal. Only in trademarks. Do you dabble in the other things? Just trademarks? No, we just limited our what we do to trademarks. And it was funny because what, what I said, I moved to get us started my law firm. And initially, it was like, we do this, we can help you with that we’re gonna help you with licensing agreements. And then I made the decision. You know what, I’m just going to do one thing and do it better than anyone else in the world. And I went to my first networking event, after I made that decision came up with a name trademark factory. So you know, everyone’s introducing themselves. I’m like, Well, you know, Andre, founder of trademark factory, we can help you with trademarks. And this this, this woman asked me a little well, what else can you do? I’m like, nothing. There’s nothing else that we can do for you. And it felt so liberating to be able to say that I love that one still remember it.
Ben Donovan  11:43
And he talks about it in, in the book, right Built to Sell John Warrillow. He talks about just having one thing, because I think in his example, it was like a design agency, right? And they just, they just narrowed it down to logos or something. I think it was logos. That’s all they do.
Andrei Mincov  11:58
productizing the service. Yeah.
Ben Donovan  12:02
As I imagined that’s made your life a lot easier with building the business
Andrei Mincov  12:06
significantly, and looked at this is what allows me to be here with the rest of the team being scattered around the world. Right? I don’t have to sit in the office. I don’t have to meet with clients. I don’t have to do a lot of things I like, you know, really, that allows me to focus on the things that I’m the best at and, you know, make sure that my factory is stronger business.
Ben Donovan  12:26
Yeah. Love it. Love it. So let’s talk about trademarks, then. It’s obviously something that’s essential for E commerce brands. I saw Sean who is the CEO of reg wallets yesterday, post on Twitter, how he spent quarter of a million dollars on legal fees for IP protection in the last month, which is just bonkers. Absolutely crazy. But it’s a real you know, it’s a real world we live in where people you need to protect your brand, right? And trademarks are one of the best ways to be able to do that. When someone is looking to protect their brand, what is the best way to do that they’ve obviously got word marks, you know, you can trademark a brand name, a tagline. Also, you can trademark a logo, the physical look of the image of a logo, which of those is the best to do? What’s the priority there?
Andrei Mincov  13:20
Okay. And you said, the key word here priority, right? Because you can end up trademarking a million different things in your business. And it’s usually, as a matter of two things. One is, is it registerable? Can it be registered into Do you have a budget for it? Right? Because sometimes we have, you know, people who come to me and say, Well, you know, there’s that one to trademark this and this and this and this, and it’s like, look, we can trademark all of this for you. The question is, is it really going to give you a good return?
Andrei Mincov  13:50
So the first one, the first priority is always the name, because that’s the thing that’s going to stay there. And no matter how you’re going to change your logo, no matter what new ideas your marketing team comes up with for your taglines. Usually, the name is the stuff that you’re going to be with. That’s how people find you on Google. That’s what people are going to type in the URL. So that’s, that’s the first thing you want to own. And if you can’t, one of our clients said it best. Because when so here’s our process. I’m just going to do a quick intro. First thing we’re going to do is we’re going to do a comprehensive trademark search to see if the brand you want to trademark is even trademark. Right? And if it’s not, we’re going to go back to you and say, it’s not a good idea. Right? And you can get all your money back. And so a lot of people start arguing with us about well, you know, maybe it’s doable, maybe it’s not. And the client said something that I really liked says if you are if you are married to a brand that you can’t have, get a divorce. Right
Andrei Mincov  14:59
And as painful as it is, it’s true because really owning a brand is more important than, you know, having the brand that you love, but that’s not yours. The last thing you want to do is build a brand for someone else that can be taken away from you or that you can’t really do anything with. If you if you look at Coca Cola, they filed their first trademark in 1892. When they were selling nine drinks a day, call it a lemonade stand with a dream. Today, they look at their portfolio of trademarks as the most valuable asset of the entire company valued at things like $80 billion, they valued at more than their distribution, they valued more than the recipe they’re valued more than their people more than anything, the brand is their most valuable asset, right and imagine if they didn’t know the name
Andrei Mincov  15:52
so the name would be out there first. The the then there would be sub names of sub brands, like for Apple would be you know, iPhone, I, you know, iTunes, iPad, all of that stuff. And then you’d have all the other elements would be logos, if the logo is important to you, there’s a lot of companies where logo really doesn’t matter. Because nobody recognizes your like if you’re a bookkeeping company, right? If you’re, you know, people probably know you by unless you’re, you know, h&r Block they that this green square, everyone knows that in most cases they don’t. So if it’s not something that people recognize, it’s not as important to trademark, the tag lines are usually, what I find with taglines is if, if the tagline helps you sell more of your stuff, it’s a good thing to own it. You know, just do it for Nike, right? If it’s something that nobody really cares about, I mean, if you have more, you know, too much money on your hands, go ahead and trademark it’s not going to hurt, right? Building a portfolio of brands is never going to hurt having a family of marks is better than having one. But if you’re strapped for cash, focus on trademarking the stuff that really matters. And then spend the rest of it to build your business then go back and trademark everything else under the sun. That’s how Apple and Amazon owned over 1300 trademarks in the US alone. Right? Apple trademarks, all its icons, all like all sorts of crazy stuff.
Ben Donovan  17:32
You talked about something being registerable? How do you define that when you start to do your research? Particularly, I think this is a great topic for someone that’s just researching their brand is just looking at potential brand names. How does the non expert look a brand name think yeah, this might be possible. Or this one’s a bit too similar? Are there any kind of levels of guidance that you can give with that?
Andrei Mincov  17:57
Yeah, so you know how, when you register a domain name, you go to a domain name registrar, you put the name that you want to enter, and they tell you whether it’s available or it’s not. Right? So it’s very different. With trademarks. It’s exactly the opposite of the domain name situation, which most people don’t realize, because trademarks are not just about identical matches. So if there aren’t any, you’re free to go. It’s the opposite of that. Because it’s about as we said, confusing similarity. They look at sound alikes. look alikes, Mean  alikes translations, added words added suffixes, prefixes, all of that stuff. So they look at translations, you know, you know, does it mean something in the other language, and maybe there’s something trademarked in that language.
Andrei Mincov  18:46
So when we do our comprehensive searches, it’s it’s a long, long things, usually it takes several hours per brand for us to assess the risks. And what most people do is they go to one of those cheap trademarking websites, they type in their name, oh, it’s available. And my favorite example of that is to get people to type in micro soft as to words, software solutions, and see if that trademark engine is going to tell them whether, you know, it’s safe to trademark and usually they’ll say, Yeah, you know, it’s available great. You know, which countries do you want to file it in? And well, you can guess how long it’s going to be before you you’re going to hear from Microsoft’s lawyers. Right. So it’s not about trying to come up with a clever way to misspell an existing name. It’s never going to work.
Andrei Mincov  19:41
So usually, you know there’s a lot of benefit of getting professionals do trademarks for you. It’s really pretty complicated process for someone who doesn’t know what this about. But the one thing I would never encourage people do themselves if there’s, you know, if you do you want to save, at the very least get a proper trademark search with a register ability opinion. Because this, this is where most people fail. Right? And like, if they tell you the road is clear, you know, if you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have enough brains to file it yourself. Maybe you can, you know, respond to Office actions from the government when they come in. But it’s the it’s the search, that’s most people do the wrong, the big law firms, there’s a reason they frame their, their, searches as optional. Because they don’t want people to do the searches. They don’t want people to know that what they’re following is not registered. Because what because guess what? They make most of their money, doing the follow up back and forth with the with a trademarks office fixing a trademark, really, they shouldn’t have been filed. Right? And they say, Well, you know, we can we can do the trademark surgery is going to cost you an extra $500. Do you want this? Or do we just file? And what do most people say? Yeah, you know, let’s file I love this brand. You know, I checked it on, you know, I did a quick Google search, it looks okay. And the law firm says great, really the word the way I look at it as it’s just so sad that, you know, 1000s of entrepreneurs are being taken advantage of this, because they don’t know any better. Right? And one of the reasons I put together trademark factory, the way I did is to give entrepreneurs who care about the result and opportunity to get it done right the first time around. That’s how we got the 99.3% rate of success is just we don’t file trademarks that are crappy. Yeah.
Ben Donovan  21:43
You mentioned about misspellings or sounds like it’s similar to with obviously the mature state of E commerce and trademarking, it’s obviously much harder to find a unique brand name now than it was 10 20 30 years ago. A strategy that we have talked about in our community is misspellings. To some extent, you see lots of brands now, come up and the brand name, if you say it audibly sounds like one word, but it’s obviously spelt different. Struggling to come up with an example, right now in my head, but there was I saw one the other day, and I thought, it’s an example of that, you know, like, they’ll use an I instead of a Y at the end of the word. So it’s spelt differently sounds the same, but they’re clearly have managed to register as a brand. But you said about their spelling differences. And there’s, there’s obviously a line there somewhere. Is it just a complete no, no, for you don’t do that? Or is it a possible solution? What are your thoughts?
Andrei Mincov  22:43
Well, great question. So it’s, it’s, it’s a good option. If it’s a misspelling, for better recognition. It’s not a good option, if you’re trying to copy someone else’s brand that’s already in this space, and just come up with an alternative space of spelling. So for example, you know, with Microsoft, you know, if you replace all eyes with number one, and you know, as with five and O with the zero and, you know, do that kind of thing, that’s not going to help. Right, just because it looks different. You’re still going to get the exact same problem. So misspellings again, for better recognition. Yeah, absolutely. Good idea. As a way to overcome confusion with an existing brand, not so much.
Ben Donovan  23:34
Yeah. And then you mentioned about investment, you know, is defensible, you said, and then how much is it going to cost you to register? Are there changing factors which impact the amount you’re going to have to pay to register a trademark, if it’s a harder trademark to register, for example, is that going to cost you more? Can you give us some extra context on it?
Andrei Mincov  23:55
Depends who you do it with. If you do a trademark factory, it’s a flat rate that covers everything from start to finish, no matter what happens under the hood. That’s the bigger one of the big advantages of what we offer because we take that risk on some clients, we have a good margin on, some clients, we lose money on. We had a few case studies, really. Some trademarks took seven years with lots of fights, lots of fights with the government, fights with owners of other trademarks and clients didn’t have to pay an extra penny. Right so we didn’t make any money on them of course, but they make good testimonials with when you go with traditional law firms. It it you know what starts with a $500 filing can easily become a $10,000 process at the end of the day. And when you start with, you know, cheap websites that you pay $69 to file your trademark that they’re going to do, they’re going to file your trademark. And whatever happens after you’ll have to find attorneys to fix. So it’s unpredictable, right. And here’s the here’s the thing. USPTO, which is the US trademarks office, they have their statistic that out of all trademarks that are being filed 68% will get an office action at least once. An office action is when the government tells you, they don’t like something about your trademark application, you’re going to have now three months to respond. And if you don’t, your trademark dies. So by their own statistics 50, only 52% of trademark applications eventually get registered. right half. And that’s not good stats, really.
Andrei Mincov  25:50
Because it takes a long, right, it takes about a year and a half in the US right now. It takes about four years in Canada. So you file that trademark and you sit and wait, you’re probably not going to sit and wait, right? You’re going to start investing in the products, you’re going to start investing in the ads, and then you find out you don’t have it. So you have to go back to square one. Right. So that’s why I find that it’s so crucial now to get it done the first time around, because just filing and hoping that it sticks is really bad strategy.
Ben Donovan  26:23
Yeah, yeah, definitely. The timelines are pretty crazy. We just recently got Canadian trademark back after nearly three years, and I just couldn’t believe the amount of time it took. It’s just bonkers. And then at one point, we had to, like write like literal physical mail. I can’t remember what the issue was. But I had to send a letter to somewhere in Canada, with some information. It’s just honestly ridiculous. But I shouldn’t use your services clearly. Do you do just us pounds or sorry, just us trademarks or other places in the world?
Andrei Mincov  26:59
Not so we our initial office was in Canada, now. It’s Canada plus Dubai. Probably about 75 80% of the filings are in the US about 20% in Canada and maybe 5% and remaining would be everywhere else. So we find people on the ground find lawyers on the ground who do the the actual filings. But what we do is not just it’s like, we’re not a marketing firm that finds leads and sells them to law firms that’s very different. What we do is we take all the correspondence with the client, we take all the risks, we give the 100% money back guarantee in case the trademark doesn’t go through, we’re the only firm in the world that does that mean, so we find people on the ground who don’t give us the flat rate who don’t give us the guarantees who don’t give us the money back. And we wrap their services around. And that’s what we give to brand owners and we deal with law firms on the ground to make sure that everything goes the way it should.
Ben Donovan  28:03
Yeah, in terms of speeding up the process. You mentioned there takes a long time, some, a lot of our audience will be like selling on Amazon, and one of the strategies that’s been talked about is registering somewhere that is a lot quicker, for instance, the UK, you can generally get a trademark registered in three, four months, and then using that trademark to get the protection in other countries. Is that a strategy you endorse? Or are there some weaknesses to that strategy?
Andrei Mincov  28:30
So yes, UK is significantly faster. And that’s good potential is strategy, the what, what the strategy will not work for is to get an international trademark unless you have a physical presence in the UK. So if you think there’s this thing called Madrid agreement, which allows you to file one trademark application and just list countries where you want your brand protected, but you can only do that, based on your trademark filing in your home country. Yeah, so you have to have a substantial connection to your home country, in order for you to be able to use that application to follow Madrid. So if you’re an American, or Canadian, Canadian is a good example. And you’re just you know, you file your trademark in the UK because it’s going to go there faster. You’re going to get UK registration, but you cannot use that to file Madrid application. If you don’t have an office in the UK if you don’t have a factory in the UK if you don’t have something in the UK that would qualify you for UK being your home country. So maybe you have to have a company in the UK and then do the UK trademark that’s, that’s a possibility. Right? But you have to think about this you can’t file. So when you file a trademark in the UK, they’ll ask who’s the owner? If you say well, the owner is this Canadian company, then you can’t use that as the basis for your Madrid application.
Ben Donovan  30:06
Is the Madrid application something that’s time limited? So you have to do it is that the thing that’s within six months of filing?
Andrei Mincov  30:13
No. So six months is various convention that allows you to backdate your international trademark applications back to the first trademark that you filed. But Madrid is sometimes used in conjunction with it so that you can use the same date. But it’s you can file Madrid filing years after and as long as the the name is still available in those other countries. That’s that’s, that’s still liable.
Ben Donovan  30:43
At what point do you think it makes sense for someone to protect their brand globally?
Andrei Mincov  30:49
So here’s our rule of thumb, start with your home country first, right? Always, then look at countries where you’re making money, right? If you have customers that give you at least 30k per year, that’s a good country to consider getting a trademark in. Third step is to look where you actually spend money, whether you have an office, whether you have marketing expenses, if you’re running ads targeting Australia, you know, if you’re spending 5k a year, probably good idea to trademark in Australia. And lastly is where you if you’re selling physical stuff, trademark everywhere, where you use your factories so far, like, for example, if you if your market is US and Canada only, but you make your stuff in China, if you don’t trademark in China and someone else does, they can prevent you from exporting your own physical stuff out of China to US. So you want to make sure that doesn’t happen. So you trademark everywhere where you have factories.
Andrei Mincov  32:02
And when the number, the total number of these countries, that list becomes too big. Like for example, if you’re an app, right? If then, then if you’re looking at you know, trademarking and more than 10 countries, at that point, you may want to look into Madrid, but you only want to look at Madrid, if you’re 100% sure your home application happens. If you’re, if your home trademark doesn’t go through for whatever reason, if it gets cancelled, then all of your Madrid filings that are based on that application are going to die automatically. So sometimes it’s better to file directly anyway,
Ben Donovan  32:43
From a financial perspective, the Madrid option is that’s going to be quite expensive.
Andrei Mincov  32:50
It starts making sense financially after, like I said, about 710 trademarks. At that point, you start seeing savings. Not before. So if you’re like thinking, you know, three, four trade, or three, four countries, don’t even don’t even worry about Madrid, it’s not going to be cheaper, and it’s going to be less valuable.
Ben Donovan  33:12
Okay, and just to finish on then you mentioned about getting trademarks in China. And I think a lot of brand owners are worried about that aspect and wanting to protect themselves in their manufacturing countries. Taking China as an example. Again, when does it make sense to to protect a brand name in China, for example.
Andrei Mincov  33:33
If you make your stuff there, the moment you realize that that’s the brand you want to sell. Because it’s, it’s not uncommon for, you know, Chinese entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, to hijack existing brands and, you know, make money selling them back to you.
Ben Donovan  33:56
Very interesting. Very interesting. Good. Okay. Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you feel you’d be good to share with the audience, any key questions, key points that would be good to finish up with.
Andrei Mincov  34:10
But I think one of the things we didn’t really talk about because we assumed it, but I want to voice that is really why you get a trademark, right? And there’s three big benefits and every business will decide which of these three are more relevant to them. For some, it’s going to be all three for most, it’s not going to be all three. So the first one is you protect your own brand from being hijacked. So it’s not about you going after others and suing them into oblivion. It’s about making sure that someone else doesn’t trademark your brand first and then force you into rebranding. We find a lot of entrepreneurs are like, you know, I don’t want to be a bad guy. You know, I don’t want to go after other people. I’m like, Well, how would you feel if someone goes after you? Are you going to go to court and try to fight over your own brand? And they say yes. And in that case, say, why would you risk having to go to court, if all you have to do is just spend a couple grand now and own it and minimize that risk, basically to zero. Right. So that’s the one benefit.
Andrei Mincov  35:22
The other benefit is yes, you can go after others. And especially today, with all the social media, the the Facebook groups, the YouTube channels, all of that, if you don’t have a trademark, it’s extremely hard for you to shut down imposters with a registered trademark, it’s there’s mechanism that makes it significantly easier. Same on Amazon, right? With all the stores popping up with the Amazon brand registry, you need to have something filed in order to be able to use it. So and so that’s the second benefit of being able to stop others from copying you. And your third one is you’re building an asset that can last forever, right? A valuable asset from it’s your brand stops being a name or a logo, it’s becomes an asset that you can sell, that you can franchise that you can monetize. And that’s a big deal in that that example of Coca Cola. He or you know what I’m gonna give you another great example. George Clooney with casamigos. So to me that’s, that’s, that’s mind blowing story. So the guy, he and Randy Gerber, they come up with a name for tequila, the idea for tequila.
Andrei Mincov  36:36
And first thing they do they go and get a trademark, then they find a distiller in Mexico to make the darn thing. And five years later, they sell it to Diageo for a billion dollars. Like, you think they literally printed a billion dollars out of thin air? And, you know, to those who say, Well, you know, it’s George Clooney, I’m sure he’d get paid significantly less to advertise other drinks for dyad. There’s a reason they bought it. Right. And they bought it because he owns the brand. So that’s
Ben Donovan  37:13
yeah, it’s fascinating. It’s crazy how you obviously that’s a great example Coca Cola as well, the that they value their IP more than their recipe more than their property. You know, the real estate more or less? Yeah, that’s bonkers. But rightly so because it’s a global brand that has such power, isn’t it? So? Incredible? Amazing. What I’ve found is very, very interesting. I’m sure it’s been very valuable for a lot of our listeners. You’ve talked about your service a little bit with throughout the episode, but give us a sort of pitch to round us up with why should people come and check you out? And, you know, just round out any areas of the service that we maybe haven’t covered yet?
Andrei Mincov  37:55
Sure. So the way like the five second elevator pitch is that really, we’re the only firm in the world that offers trademarking services with a guaranteed result for a guaranteed budget. What that means is that there’s a flat fee that you pay that covers everything from start to finish, no matter what happens in the middle. And if it doesn’t go through, you get all your money back. Right. And really, there’s two levels of guarantee there first is that we do the search in the beginning. And if we tell you, there’s a problem there, you can get all your money back and not do anything, and basically, pretend this conversation never happened. Or you can throw at us any number of alternatives until you pick a name that you love. And that will tell you his trademark, but that’s really what most people do. Because, you know, most people don’t start with us to get a refund, they start with us to become, you know, to own their brand. And if we tell them, it’s not going to work, they’re happy to work with us to either massage it, sometimes some small tweaks are required, maybe adding some elements, sometimes they have to go back to the drawing board, and they do. So that’s, that’s that. And the second part of the guarantee is if we tell you it’s gonna go through and it doesn’t, like we’re going to do all the back and forth with the government, if we can convince them that, you know, the trademark should go through if we miss something. After all of these months of work, you get all your money back. Right? We’re the only firm in the world that does this. And I think that’s what justifies the fact that the the initial fee that we charge might seem higher than you know, some of the, you know, $100 companies out there, but in the long run you’re paying for for the result, not the process. So that’s that’s what makes us different if and if you want certainty of the budget, if you want certainty of results trademark factory is really your only go to right now. So go to trademarkfactory.com and fill out the form and we’ll help you from there.
Ben Donovan  39:53
Awesome. I was gonna say where should they go and you’ve just told them anywhere else that you want to send people. Yeah, on LinkedIn or anything like that, or just to the website.
Andrei Mincov  40:02
I’m on LinkedIn, really the the other place I send them to is our YouTube channel. As I mentioned, there’s a bunch of videos close to 1000 videos, if you want to learn more about trademarks, there’s hours, hours, hours, hours of free and followed by trademarks. If you had any questions there’s always going to be an answer there. So
Ben Donovan  40:25
perfect. Yeah, well, we’ll include the links to both of those in the show notes. Andre, appreciate you coming on. It’s been really insightful. And it’s clear to me, you, you certainly know what you’re talking about. So yeah, thanks for coming on and sharing sharing your knowledge with us today.
Andrei Mincov  40:40
Thanks for having me Ben.
Ben Donovan  40:42
Pleasure. Pleasure. Awesome, guys. Well, I’m sure you got a lot of value out of that episode as I did, definitely check out the stuff in the show notes below. Check out trademark factory sounds like a great proposition. Some guarantee results for some guaranteed you know, hard fixed costs. It’s good to have that clarity. So definitely check it out. And we will see in the next episode, same time next week. Take care bye

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