, May 9, 2016

It’s Loopy to Ignore Trademark Protection

The synergies of naming, branding and trademark protection

There’s a political adage that you should bury bad news on a big news day. You have to wonder if the rebranding of Hyperloop Technologies to Hyperloop One took advantage of this maxim. The big news was that Hyperloop One were going to test their levitating electromagnetic propulsion system the next day. This is potentially the transportation system of the future, capable of taking a train to over 100mph in one second and then travelling at supersonic speeds, faster than conventional jet planes. The bad news is that Hyperloop One were abandoning the name Hyperloop Technologies and allowing their principle competitor, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, free reign to continue with that name.

Now let’s be clear, we don’t know the extent to which these two companies were battling it out for ownership of the name. The rebranding is great and more importantly, the technology is amazing. If you haven’t seen the demo then check out this video. It’s difficult to gauge speed from the video but the technology does work!

What seems to be obvious is that at an early stage the synergies between naming, branding and trademark protection were not fully exploited. The two companies have both raised large sums of money to develop this technology and it is easy to see how the focus on finance and the technology itself may have downplayed the importance of branding. The lesson though is clear: every aspect of a project like this has to be right from day one. That’s something professional naming and branding agencies can help with. If your brand name has not been checked for trademark, then that can come back to bite you in the marketing budget at a later stage. Which is not just loopy – it’s hyperloopy!

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