How Digip Is Cutting The Cost Of Trademarking For Entrepreneurs – Forbes

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Every business is anxious to secure its intellectual property, but securing a trademark can often prove expensive and time-consuming, causing significant problems for small and medium-sized enterprises. Swedish start-up Digip, which is today announcing the completion of a $3.4 million seed funding round-up, claims to have the answer.
“We wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurs and founders to trademark their brands,” explains Viktor Johansson, CEO and co-founder of Digip. “A digital process that is open and transparent gives them the reassurance they need that their brand is protected.”
Tradtionally, businesses looking for trademark services have paid specialist consultants or legal firms for the time taken to do the work required. The problem with that for start-ups and early-stage businesses is that the costs are open-ended; at a time when money is often short, they don’t know upfront how much it will cost them to protect their crucial intellectual property.
Digip therefore takes a different approach. For an annual flat-rate subscription charge agreed in advance – and starting at €200 for businesses with simple affairs – customers effectively get three services in one. First, they can use Digip’s platform to research their proposed trademark – to check whether another business has already used it or something similar, for example. Next, Digip will then manage the application process, liaising with the appropriate authorities. And finally, businesses can use the platform to monitor their trademark protection on an ongoing basis – to check that another business isn’t trying to register something similar, for example.
The service is provided via a digital interface that firms can check into as and when they see fit to monitor progress and receive updates. The aim, explains Johansson, is to challenge the established business model in what is a €150 billion global trademark market.
“A company typically spends a four-figure amount for a trademark search and waits weeks for results,” Johansson says. “We have already transformed this experience for users who are reporting average savings of 80% of trademark management fees and cutting a substantial amount of their workload by using the platform and services.” In one case, Digip reduced a client’s trademark costs by an estimated $400,000, he says.
Since opening its doors to customers last year, Digip has signed up more than 500 paying customers, ranging from tiny start-up businesses to large enterprises with substantial revenues. These latter customers face the same trademark challenges as smaller firms, Johansson points out.
Digip’s founders believe they can help businesses protect their intellectual property more … [+] efficiently
Importantly, the service is largely geography-agnostic. Digip’s existing clients come from more than 40 different countries, all of which access its platform digitally.
While countries naturally have different legal systems, Digip’s international business model is predicated on the common standards relating to trademarks. In the European Union, all 27 member states follow the same rules and application process, while the UK – currently Digip’s most important market – still adheres to something very similar. Other markets around the world accept the common stantards set by the World Intellectual Property Organization.
With the company’s revenues on course to triple over its current financial year, Digip’s aim now is to accelerate its growth trajectory. One possibility is partnership with other players in the sector – law firms, brand consultants and search advisers, for example – who might be interested in incorporating its technology into their own services. The company is also planning further geographical expansion and an increased focus on sales and marketing.
Today’s funding round will certainly help in this regard. Digip has raised $1.3 million of additional seed finance to add to the $2.1 million it picked up earlier his year. The round was led by venture capital firms Industrifonden and Seed X, with participation from a number of family offices and angel investors from the Stockholm start-up ecosystem.
“The legal industry has been slow to embrace technology, leaving traditional players behind,” argues Tore Tolke, senior investment director at Industrifonden. “However, Digip is demonstrating amazing potential and the demand for its services is growing.”

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