As we continue to celebrate our 10 year Anniversary, we are sharing Bôhten Anniversary nuggets. These tips, pieces of advice and learning moments are what we experienced and found valuable throughout our growth and journey as a small, black-owned business. Now, we are sharing them with you.
What is Intellectual Property? Intellectual Property refers to the legal rights granted to individuals or organizations for their creations of the mind. These creations can be in the form of inventions, artistic works, brands, software, literature, music, and much more. Intellectual Property comes in many forms of intangible assets, including inventions, designs, trademarks, patents, and trademarks to name a few.
For Bôhten, our journey to secure intellectual property was not immediate. Like many other small businesses, we needed time to get our “feet wet”. Time to develop and innovate in our industry and also raise the necessary capital. It was actually after our rebranding in 2020 when we decided to take the leap. That process solidified a few things for us, specifically when it came to our name, our logo and our slogan. We knew what we recreated was our building block for the long haul and it was time to protect them. So, we invested in a trademark. The process itself went well, but what happened after was an unexpected battle we didn’t expect to fight. Nana K, Co-founder of Bôhten, shares a bit of insight on the ordeal.
“We chose to trademark our name because we felt like we had built a decent amount of equity and visibility. We also wanted to scale up our venture into larger spaces. To make that official, it made sense to protect what we’d done to date. The first thing we did was to trademark the name and the logo. This also happened after we redesigned the logo and the brand. We invested a lot of money and time and we felt we needed to protect what we built over the years.”
He shared, “Trademarking our name in the USA brought some attention” and for Bôhten, it wasn't the best kind. Nana K recounted how the fact that there are companies and people in the intellectual property sphere who look out for where, what and when you trademark something. He described how they seemingly preempt your move and go about trademarking your IP in countries you are yet to trademark in. Companies like this operate all over the world and Bôhten actually encountered some of them from Asian & European regions. It was a tough time for the Bôhten co-founders and actually quite stressful, but they were able to pull through.
Regardless of that occuring, Nana K encourages other to innovate, build value and protect what you build. He says, “Trademarking is a way of establishing and laying a foundation. We see our brand to be something that has longevity, for generations to come. Trademarking is a way of establishing that.” He also highlights, “ Innovation is what separates you. It’s not necessarily a whole new invention, but rather protecting the most prominent elements of your entity. Apply yourself so that you can build value. Research and identify how to solve problems and then protect the equity you’ve already built.”
This was a bit of insight on securing Intellectual property and the woes you may or may not encounter along the way. We hope this nugget encourages you to dive into your own company’s expansion with more wisdom, yet encourages you to move forward anyway. Here’s till the next Nugget.
Follow Bôhten on our socials and use hashtags #WeSeeYouBohten #Bohten to learn more.