Vetted Pet Care – AKeyMark Case Study
Vetted Business Profile
Vetted Pet Care provides veterinary and veterinary technician services to customers in their home and remotely via virtual consults. Their in-home services include annual exams, wellness visits and vaccinations, and their virtual consulting is primarily follow-up care, with an emphasis on general pet health, dietary and behavioral questions. The service, established in 2015 by entrepreneur Karan Aneja, uses certified veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are chosen based upon completion of Vetted Pet Care’s selective vetting process. These service providers work under Vetted Pet Care’s standard operating procedures, ensuring a streamlined, consistent experience for the customer. The play on the word “Vetted” is a key part of their branding and marketing strategy, and it serves as a service differentiator for their target audience.
Vetted Business Challenge
Applying to register his company’s trademark usage of “Vetted” wasn’t originally an idea owner Karan Aneja thought was important to building his brand. His previous startup experiences in Southeast Asia perpetuated his reluctance to file a trademark application.
“Much of my previous work and entrepreneurial experience is in Southeast Asia, where trademark laws are weak or nonexistent,” he explains. “There, it doesn’t matter who came up with an idea, someone’s going to copy it eventually. But the US, I’m finding, it is a very different ballgame when it comes to a business’s trademark rights.”
Aneja’s business partners and associates kept returning to the idea of protecting the company’s name, and their continued insistence pushed him to consider applying for a United States trademark registration.
“A few of my business and legal friends kept urging that I register ‘Vetted,’ with the rationale that it was a great name, a clever play on words and described our services,” says Aneja. “I never thought twice about the need for a trademark registration, but so many of my associates thought it was a good idea, so I explored it. And I’m glad that I listened to them!”
“It seemed like the ‘Vetted’ name resonated with a lot of our clients and a lot of my staff,” Aneja says. “We are fairly unique in the way we’re organized and the name is part of what sets us apart from the competition.”
When he came to the decision to file his trademark application for “Vetted Pet Care”, the next consideration was how to navigate the complexities of the United States Trademark Office’s extensive application process.
Aneja explains his decision: “I had a friend who was an attorney offer to file the trademark application for me, but his expertise wasn’t in trademark law. With so many people telling me the name was important, I wanted to make sure my application was filed correctly and the Vetted services were represented accurately. I really wanted an expert, and that’s how I found and decided upon AKeyMark.”
AKeyMark’s flat fee price structure combined with the speed of the process was extremely appealing, but the added value became clear once Aneja received his expert trademark attorney consultation. The attorney recommended applying for “Vetted,” as opposed to the entire “Vetted Pet Care” name. By removing the generic and descriptive words from his trademark application, Aneja strengthened both this trademark application and the brand protection a trademark registration will provide him in the future.
“There are over 40 different classes of goods and services for trademarks, and it’s hard to know which to select,” explains Aneja. “The attorney advised me to apply in fewer trademark classes than I had originally thought I needed. I ended up with a completed trademark application that was more targeted to my type of business, and got a refund of fees because I wasn’t trying to trademark in classifications that didn’t relate to my business model. The saving grace was really having the call with the attorney!”
“A lot of the comfort I had with the AKeyMark platform came from the attorney consultation – being able to talk with a real person about my application and have them write things down and make recommendations. At the end of the day, that was the most important thing,” Aneja explains.
Benefits of AKeyMark
Karan Aneja sees expert attention and legal expertise as the main value of the AKeyMark platform.
“When it comes to trademarks, you really want to use someone who has trademark expertise, because they’re going to be more educated and knowledgeable about what they’re doing,” says Aneja. “I started out with three classifications, then pared it down to two, and after talking with the trademark attorney, found that only one was correct for my company’s needs.”
“The AKeyMark process – the trademark questionnaire, the paralegal review, the attorney consultation – is a streamlined, cost effective alternative to the traditional trademark attorney option. It’s cost transparent without sacrificing the quality of the end result, and that’s a huge value to me as an entrepreneur and startup business owner.”
A registered trademark translates to greater credibility with customers and freedom for Aneja.
“Having that little ®next to your name makes a difference. It provides peace of mind in knowing that you’ve protected yourself and your brand, and your trademark registration might keep other people from stealing your brand. And for a startup, that’s important.”