Mondo, the crowdfunded startup bank success story, have been forced to change their name due a dispute that came to light when they tried to register Mondo as a trademark. The company grabbed the headlines earlier this year when it crashed the crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube due to incredible demand. They raised £1 million in just 96 seconds and have an impressive waiting list for their services. This is another example of the importance of doing thorough checks and research when you decide on a business name. Just doing a trademark search with the trademark registrar, although very important, may not be enough.
Mondo’s founder Tom Blomfield, confirmed that the company did a trademark check but no conflict with any other name or Mark was flagged up at the time.
While Mondo are not allowed to disclose the details of the business that has filed the objection, it’s safe to assume that the objecting business has enough of an interest and sufficiently robust arguments to force Mondo’s hand.
Mondo has turned the situation into a positive one, engaging with their customers and target audience to help choose their new identity. In my view, it’s a really clever move. It brings the brand to the forefront in a positive light, acknowledging that they may have chosen a name that is now giving them difficulty, but making their customers part of the solution to moving forward. The company has suggested that they want the new name to start with the letter M as they do intend to keep their logo and branding.
Other suggestions of checks and safeguards that you can put in place when you are thinking of a name for your business include:
- search engine checks (like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others)
- checking domain registers (like Nominet; if the domain name is already taken, it may indicate that someone else is already using your choice of trade mark)
- checking Companies House, aiming to keep your choice of name original and creative (made up or more creative names are less likely to be taken already) and lastly,
- searching local phone books and business directories, as sole traders and partnerships may not have an online presence.
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Hot startup bank Mondo is having to change its name following a trademark dispute and is letting its customers chose what it should now be called.