Trade marks are a very cost-effective and powerful tool which businesses often overlook when starting a new venture. In some ways, trade marks are the ultimate form of IP protection, because if granted, they allow you to monopolise the public’s association between certain words or a logo and your business.
Starting a new business has many risks, including failure to achieve a viable business model with product/market fit, excessive competition, economic downturns, lack of cashflow/runway, hiring risks, delays in delivery and technical risks. However, one of the largest risks and most common cause for business failure is due to disputes between shareholders.
Most developers I speak to are under a lot pressure to deliver. They borrow code from ‘open source’ libraries and think they are free to use it in their deliverables. They don’t have time to read software licences. For many of them, English is a second language, and even native speakers cannot be expected to understand the nuances of contractual interpretation, particularly under ‘multi-licensed’ software with conflicting terms.