When your company name includes the two big loves of your life, you have every reason to properly protect that name. David Behrens sees registration as a ‘no-brainer’: “Register your trademark. See it as an insurance policy.”
In 2007, Behrens gave himself a special gift for Sinterklaas [St. Nicholas]. He registered with the Chamber of Commerce and started his own business: Ping Media. He worked as a freelance television programme maker, editor and producer under that name, and he did not take long to find it: “‘Ping’ is a reference to the nickname of my wife, Ingeborg. ‘Media’ refers to the other love of my life: multimedia.” Nevertheless, it was another two years before Behrens had his trademark registered.
Practical reasons for registering
Initially, his main reason for registering Ping Media as a trademark was a practical one. Behrens won a major contract in 2009, and his sole proprietorship suddenly expanded into a small company, which for him was reason to have his trademark recorded: “All of a sudden, I had a business with personnel. I couldn’t afford to lose my company name. That's why I sorted out the registration very quickly then.” A little more than ten years later, Behrens’ business has grown into a holding with three companies.
“For me, registration is a ‘no-brainer’. I don’t want to run the risk of losing my company name.”
Tackling competition without a lawyer
As well as protection, for Behrens there was also another benefit to registering ‘Ping Media’. Behrens: “Last year I discovered that someone had started a business under the name ‘Ping Media Design’, in ‘my’ field of work. So, I sent them a message saying that I thought it was great they’d started their business, but they were going to have to change the name – and I included a link to my registration in the BOIP Trademarks Register. They did change it, and quickly. That was great because it meant there was no need for me get a lawyer involved.”
Protect the value of your business
Behrens advises every entrepreneur starting out to register their trademark. “It costs next to nothing and can save you an awful lot of hassle. You no longer need to worry about losing your name to someone else, and you can also prevent others from free-riding on your success. Today, the name of my business has a certain value, and that value is properly protected.”
Trademark registration instruction videos
There is also a nice little anecdote to this story: in 2012, the trademark registration also brought Behrens work – with BOIP itself. Behrens explains how it came about: “We had developed a series of interactive service videos for two major customers, which, it was found, drastically reduced the number of calls to the helpdesk. It meant a big saving for the customer and was a great business case for us. Then, when I was going through the trademark registration process with BOIP again, for a new private limited company, it came to me: they could also have good use for films like that. So, I proposed to BOIP that I could make instruction videos for them, and it happened. I hope that with the videos, how you go about registering your trademark will be easier and clearer for other entrepreneurs too.”
Register your trademark in four steps
Registration protects the value of your brand. Be aware: There is a lot to consider when applying for trademark registration. And there are costs involved. Use thesefour steps to check what opportunities and possibilities are open to you.
Start the four steps