When German p2p lending startup Finmar tried to register their logo as a trademark they were in for a negative surprise. The trademark office in 2014 forwarded them a 500 page objection filed by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) which complained that the design of Finmar’s logo to closely resembled FINRA’s logo which was already protected by a European trademark filed in Madrid. Given the similarity of name and logo FINRA feared that there is a risk that both are confused.
Finmar was flabbergasted but tried to reduce the damage. They negotiated with FINRA that Finmar would change its logo but could keep its name. Finmar designed a new logo (see above), revoked the old trademark application, submitted a new one and exchanged the logo on the website and in all social media channels. In total this dispute took Finmar more than 15 months to settle.