One of the most important steps when developing a business idea is choosing a name. However, given the amount of companies currently operating globally, this process can quickly become a tangled web of setbacks.
"The possible time taken just getting clearance for one trademark could easily take two days, up to one week," explains Mikael Kolehmainen, CEO of TrademarkNow. "The cost for this isn't cheap: starting from 500 euros, all the way up to 14,000."
Whilst working as a trademark lawyer for eight years, Kolehmainen was often asked how to clear his client's trademarks with greater ease. Unimpressed with the services that were already available, he decided to do something about it.
Searching and saving
When factoring in all costs associated with clearing and protecting trademarks, the industry is valued at around 30 billion dollars. Thus, it's unsurprising that online search engine TrademarkNow has grown rapidly since being established in 2012.
"When people hear about our company and what we have built, they are very impressed by the product," Kolehmainen observes. "We are the Google of trademarks. You get an answer whether you can use a certain name in 15 seconds – and you get it at a fraction of the cost."
With offices in Finland, New York City and Ireland, the majority of TrademarkNow's customers are currently in the United States. These include some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, numerous law firms and car manufacturers.
Tekes was also quick to see the value of Kolehmainen's idea and has been a constant presence during its development. Currently, TrademarkNow is working on its third R&D project and is also finishing the Young Innovative Company (YIC) programme.
"Getting Tekes involved is very important for the mentality of the entrepreneur," Kolehmainen reflects. "You get comments on your ideas and some ideas you might not have thought about that you could make stronger."
Alongside the assistance received from Tekes' consultants, also of significant benefit to TrademarkNow has been the YIC panel of investors that picked apart and evaluated the whole business idea.
"Tekes is unique," Kolehmainen states. "People have asked me in Silicon Valley, including people from the Norwegian government, what we have done right in Finland. Tekes is one thing we can be really proud of, as a benchmark for other countries setting up a support system for their companies. It is tremendously valuable."
For further information, please contact
tel. +358 50 340 5202
mikael.kolehmainen (at) trademarknow.com
Text: James O'Sullivan