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How a Japanese Startup protected their mark in Asia.

Reading time
7 min

There was a Japanese startup that had created an innovative app for restaurants. The app was designed to help diners discover new restaurants and make reservations with just a few clicks and they initially focused only on Japan. Eventyally, the app had become very popular in Japan and the startup was now planning to expand it to other Asian countries.

How they lost their trademark?

However, when they tried to register their app’s name as a trademark in Korea, they found out that a Korean company had already registered it. This came as a shock to them because they had never heard of this company before. They soon discovered that the company had registered their app’s name in order to prevent them from entering the Korean market. 
The team behind the startup was distressed. They had spent years developing their app and building their brand, only to have it stolen by a company they didn’t even know existed, the startup did the Korean company no harm to be treated this way. The startup knew they had to take action to protect their brand and prevent this from happening again. 

As a startup, they needed to show fast growth and fast expansion. It would be difficult for them to find investors in a middle of a legal battle over their brand name. 

When Bonamark was hired?

That’s when they decided to hire Bonamark, a company that specialized in helping businesses protect their brands. They knew that Bonamark had a team of experts who could help them navigate the complex world of trademarks and protect their brand in all the Asian countries where they planned to operate.

Bonamark started by conducting a thorough search (aka Trademark Study) in all the Asian countries where the startup wanted to register their trademark. They checked every available database to make sure that no one had already registered the same or similar trademarks. After 2 weeks of research, they presented the startup with a detailed report outlining the results of their search.

The results were mostly favorable, the Korean situation was a unique case. Bonamark found several potential problems and helped to change trademark applications to avoid conflicts with other brands.

Did they manage to register their marks?

Thanks to Bonamark’s expertise, the startup was able to file their trademark in all the Asian countries they needed to, and they had no issues with their brand being stolen or infringed upon. They knew that they could now focus on growing their business without worrying about someone else stealing their brand. The processes in 20+ countries were straightforward thanks to the unique brand and the preliminary work done by Bonamark.

In the end, the startup was grateful to Bonamark for helping them protect their brand and expand their business. They knew that they could trust them to handle all their trademark needs and keep their brand safe, no matter where they went.

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