David Lipovsky from trademark one-stop-shop Trama: “We make legal processes seamless”
- 1.1 Does this lack of knowledge create problems?
- 1.2 Why would some of your clients disregard the risk?
- 1.3 So what are you doing to balance the seriousness of legal matters with your goal of having a smooth digital product?
- 1.4 Ok, so what do you do if the registration doesn’t go through?
- 1.5 And what do they ask to gain that peace of mind?
The field of law is often seen as too complex and outdated, but moving legal services to an online space creates its own set of issues to consider. David Lipovsky, a Consultant at Trama, a company offering online trademark registration, is well aware of that. In this interview, David shares how Trama balances the convenience offered by new technologies with the seriousness of legal procedures.
David, please introduce us to what you do in Trama.
As a member of the support team, my primary goal is to provide customers with answers to their questions and resolutions to their concerns. In practicality, this means I answer on chat and email, mend the phone and sometimes sit down with a client on strategic consultations we also offer as part of our trademark one-stop-shop proposition.
Since Trama offers legal services, do your clients have enough knowledge on the topic of trademarks when they come to you, or do you mostly have to cover the basics?
It depends. Most clients who schedule consultations know something about trademarks and are looking more for advice specific to their case. They may not know all details, but that’s where we come in to help them go through the process. But clients that contact us via chat or phone are usually at the very start of their journey and know very little, which is understandable.
Does this lack of knowledge create problems?
Lack of knowledge in itself no, we always try to explain the process to the client, and also, the point of our business is to cover everything for our clients, from start to finish. So we don’t require you to study up before coming to us.
However, I sometimes find that by making the process more seamless, we have created an opposite problem and a small portion of our potential clients tend to then disregard the risk associated with the application, which is a problem.
Why would some of your clients disregard the risk?
When you go to an attorney’s office, you are probably aware of the seriousness of the matter. We, on the other hand, are an online business, and our goal is to enable you to register a trademark from anywhere. Plus, we really try to make the process as easy as possible. But I think it may lead some to believe they are just clicking a form on some website and forget that we are still a legal firm and their application will be assessed by intellectual property offices and maybe even opposed by other trademark holders.
So what are you doing to balance the seriousness of legal matters with your goal of having a smooth digital product?
We are constantly examining ways of adequately communicating the risk. One thing we do is conduct a free assessment where our legal team checks whether the trademark in question can be registered. We do this for every new request. A part of the result is a risk profile, recommendations and expected chance of success based on our experience. We try to give clients all the necessary information to make an informed decision. Some have their heart set on their trademark idea and choose to progress despite the high risk of refusal, but I should add that even if the application gets rejected, in many cases, we are able to resolve the issue.
Ok, so what do you do if the registration doesn’t go through?
That depends on the case and on the reason the registration was blocked. Sometimes it’s a result of an office action raised by the intellectual property office assessing the application, and sometimes it’s another business claiming their existing trademark is being infringed upon with the new application.
But in general, we start by getting in touch with the client, informing them about what has happened, what it means and laying down their options. From there, it varies from case to case, but the help we can offer includes responding to the office action, negotiating a co-existence agreement or even going through the entire course of the litigation process.
Let’s get back to Trama being an online business. Since your clients don’t talk directly to a lawyer, I’d imagine them being more cautious before deciding to use your services. Is that true?
Yes, some people are more cautious and thorough in evaluating our service. But I have to say I have noticed that we are getting fewer and fewer of these questions. There’s definitely an improvement compared to just the beginning of 2022. I am not sure why that is, maybe as we grow, we are getting more renown, or it’s because we have more references to present on the website.
And what do they ask to gain that peace of mind?
Well, usually, who we are exactly, who are the people that work for us, how many people work for us, where we are based and whether we can present any examples of recognizable companies we have worked for.
Last but not least, David, we’ve talked about the process your customers go through when they decide to seek out your services, but more broadly, why should entrepreneurs consider getting a trademark?
Ok, I know it can seem like ‘why would I ever need this’, so I’d summarize it as follows – a trademark helps keep your business yours. It gives you the legal protection you might need if your business starts growing and prevents others from possibly interfering with that growth. It protects you for ten years, and it’s a one-and-done kind of procedure, so I’d really recommend it to everyone wanting to build a brand. We’ve seen it with numerous clients facing brand infringement and costly litigation that all of that could have been avoided should they have thought about trademark registration when setting up their business.