The Importance of Trademarks
Prior to Launch
Before launching completely I was really nervous because I felt once people saw the simplicity of the code design, they would steal it. I had submitted for the JFK design mark immediately but then wanted to move on all the other cities too, as well as the NxTSTOP logo itself. In retrospect, I think this fear was way overblown. As any amateur, I really believed that the day my site launched tons of people would see the products, by them all, and we would go viral. Of course this was ridiculous. While protected IP remains critical to the brand now, I realize that my fear in the beginning was way too exaggerated.
Despite all this fear, the main reason I didn’t submit officially before then was – once again – lack of money. Each initial trademark submission using the cheapest online method costs $225 each. I couldn’t hire a lawyer so I had to learn to do it myself. And I did through the surprisingly easy to use and informative USPTO site and some very strategically planned lunches with IP lawyer friends-of-friends. Bottom line: I’m at least dangerous in trademark submission knowledge (although office actions are another matter).
To the present, I aggressively pursue all trademark opportunities with the help of Lando & Anastasi, based in Boston. By the way, it feels pretty awesome to own a trademark that people recognize and love!