A serendipitous transition
A native of Ranchi, in the east Indian state of Jharkhand, Sakar Mota’s business began at home.
Leveraging his Big Four consulting firm experience, he grew his family’s garments retail store into a thriving apparel manufacturing, trading and retail business. Initially the business focused on traditional women’s kurtis but he grew it to include office wear and western style clothing as well. On top of that, he expanded distribution across three states: Jharkhand, Bihar, and Assam.
Like millions of other business owners around the world, Sakar Mota had to get creative very quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And with a series of national and regional lockdowns in place to slow the virus' spread, his sales plummeted. Luckily, Sakar didn't have to pivot too much to save his business. "We realized there was a huge demand for medical clothing," he recalls.
Given his knowledge and experience of the clothing industry, branching out into this new niche made perfect sense. And, just like that, the event that had put his business in peril also turned out to be the answer to his woes.
On the mend
Sakar started selling medical clothing online in September 2020 under a brand name that was not registered under the Trademark Act, 1999. He worked very hard to develop his business on Amazon.in.
"It took a lot of time and effort to develop my product and grow my customer base," he says. "But, once it started selling well, other sellers started to copy my products.”
Unfortunately, without a registered trademark, his listings were generic and unbranded and there were limited legal courses of action that Sakar could take. While it was disheartening to see bad actors profit off his hard work, the experience taught him an important lesson.
"Losing those sales made me realize the importance of having intellectual property rights," Sakar says. Determined to rebuild and protect his brand, he got to work securing a trademark registration.
Sakar's journey towards obtaining a trademark registration started with a simple web search. One of the law firms he got in touch with was part of the Amazon IP Accelerator program. Amazon IP Accelerator takes the stress out of establishing intellectual property rights by giving brands access to a network of curated and trusted IP law firms. Through these firms, they can get trademark filing services at competitive rates.
The law firm helped him review potential brand names, guided him through the trademark registration process, and advised him of the best steps for success.
"The law firm was so helpful! They had an early idea of which brand name options we selected had the highest chances of getting registered. So, we went on with Medifiber and eventually, without any objection, it got registered.”
But what Sakar found especially appealing about IP Accelerator was that it would enable him to gain quick access to Amazon brand protection and brand building tools as soon as he filed his trademark application. "I was under the impression that, until I registered the trademark, I would have to keep selling under a generic brand name," Sakar says. "But the law firm I worked with told me that as part of Amazon IP Accelerator, I could start using the new brand on Amazon from the first day I filed."
This, Sakar says, "was the icing on the cake. It was a huge benefit."