Company name trade mark registration for a new Energy sector disruptor
Tonik Energy is a renewable energy supply business based in Birmingham with a bold mission to halve their customers’ energy bills by 2022. By giving their customers access to innovative technologies such as solar panels, in-home battery storage and electric vehicle charging, they want to put them in control of how they generate, store and ultimately use renewable energy, for a cheaper and greener future.
Tonik Energy originally approached Vault IP early in their inception, with regard to using and registering a particular name. Unfortunately, initial searches identified a number of potential problems and Vault IP advised them to adopt an alternative mark. However, choosing a suitable name was proving difficult and it was therefore decided that, for the time being, they would secure registration for their company holding name, Retig. Vault IP successfully registered this mark, providing Tonik with protection whilst the company was set up and overall branding decided on.
Then in early 2016, as Tonik’s mission started to take shape, they sought further advice from Vault IP regarding an alternative name for the company.
As a new disruptor in the energy market, Tonik was keen to have a company name that reflected their overall values and enabled them to stand out, in what was becoming quite a crowded market place. They had a few initial suggestions and Vault IP used their expertise to advise on how robust the protection would be for those names, as well as carrying out comprehensive searches to establish whether they were free for use and registration.
Unfortunately, the first proposed name was considered to be too close in similarity to ‘Hive’, the smart home provider. An alternative spelling was suggested and thought to be sufficiently different from this earlier mark, but at that point, the name ‘Tonik’ had been put forward and had quickly become the favoured mark. Having conducted a full search of the UK and EU trade mark registers, Vault IP advised that there was a good chance of securing registration for the mark.
The decision was taken to proceed with the mark TONIK ENERGY and the next step was to prepare a suitable specification of goods and services for filing. Whilst it was found that 10 different classes would be required in order to cover all goods/services of interest, as Tonik was a start-up company needing to keep costs to a minimum, Vault IP worked them to identify the most important. As a result, it was decided that the application would be filed in 6 classes, in order to provide a good level of protection, but without breaking the bank!
A UK trade mark application was filed in April 2016 and the registration process was straightforward, with no objections or oppositions. Having successfully secured registration for the word mark, TONIK ENERGY, the decision was taken to expand protection by registering the ‘tonik’ logo and Vault IP was instructed to file an application for the mark in July 2016. Registration for this mark was also a straightforward process.
Now that the company is more established, Tonik is currently seeking further advice from Vault IP with regard to expanding protection for their house brand, as well as securing registration for other important marks.
Furthermore, as the number of entrants to the energy sector has rocketed in recent years, Tonik has sensibly set up a watching service with Vault IP to ensure that they are alerted to the filing of any applications for conflicting marks. So far, the service has identified one problematic application and Vault IP successfully settled the matter by securing a deletion of goods conflicting with those of interest to Tonik.
Vault IP remains on hand to support Tonik with any advice they need as their product and service portfolio grows and further protection is required.
Why was Vault IP chosen?
Tonik was keen to work with a like-minded company, who not only understood the challenges of being a start-up, but also had the experience and capacity to manage their Intellectual Property rights as they grew. Vault IP, an SME themselves, were the perfect fit for Tonik and had the additional benefit of being based in Birmingham.
Quote from Chris
“Vault IP has been the perfect Intellectual Property partner for Tonik, providing us with a transparent service as well as honest, expert advice as we’ve progressed from start up to established energy company. They have worked collaboratively from the get-go and are very pro-active. We feel confident in the protection they have secured, and continue to provide, for our brand name and identity, which is critical in the competitive gas and electricity industry.” Chris Russell, Managing Director, Tonik Energy