top of page


Introducing ...

TrademarkVana is a third-party platform that walks each client through the complex landscape of the trademark application process. 


Project Overview 

My teammates and I collaborated with TrademarkVana in designing a white-label SaaS platform that connects IP attorneys with entrepreneurs who are looking to obtain a trademark for their businesses.

Brief Introduction 

TrademarkVana is a third-party platform that walks each client through the complex landscape of the trademark application process. Here are the services they provide: 

  • Attorney consultation for trademark application

  • Trademark attorney, with full search, review, filing and discussion with an attorney.

  • Trademark inquiry 

  • Trademark search with self-filing 

  • UK trademark filing 

Problem Statement

Startups and small businesses of underserved populations lack access to quality information about IP and Trademark Strategy, resulting in wasted resources and high rates of rejected trademark applications.

My Role and Contributions

This is an academic project with a group of 4 members, I was in-charged of: 

  • Participate in affinity mapping 

  • Arrange meetings with stakeholders 

  • Interviewing the stakeholders 

  • Taken full responsibility for designing user personas, journey maps, and empathy maps

  • Identify SWOT analysis

  • Highly involved in wireframing and prototyping

How did we kick-start the project? 

1. Conduct interview sessions with stakeholders to understand the products and users

All members wrote down the possible questions we had on sticky notes and categorised them accordingly. Once the questions are sorted out, we arranged meetings with the client to obtain verifications. 

i. Here are the questions we asked: 

Do you imagine this platform to be an application only?
How do you envision educating clients through the self-service portal?
Who are our clients/users?
What is the validation process?
What part of the application do users struggle with most?
Is there existing user data or research?
What are the required fields for the application?
What happens when an application gets rejected?

ii. Here are the answers we received from the clients: 

Target Users

  • Global small business owners or startups who needed help in protecting their marks in the United States.


  • The application process should be transparent and easy to understand.

  • Must educate the applicants about the differences between their products. 

Product Types

  • Self-file trademark (independently)

  • Request assistance from the IP attorney (non-independently)

What do we do after we talked to the stakeholders? 

2. Identify the project goals based on the stakeholder's expectations

We decided to drill down the client's expectations into three categories, which are vision, perception of users, and business drivers. 

i. Business vision

Educate and advise the underserved startup community on their journey to obtaining a trademark.

ii. Perception of the users

Underserved startup and small business owners around the world who need to protect their marks.

iii. Business drivers

Long term goal is to not only create a product for trademarks but create a platform for these startups to engage with top quality Intellectual Property (IP) attorneys from smaller practices.

Problem Statement 

Startups and small businesses of underserved populations lack access to quality information about IP and Trademark Strategy, resulting in wasted resources and high rates of rejected trademark applications.

Once we figured out the problem statement ...

1. Perform secondary research to understand the market opportunities & threats

In order to validate there’s a problem that needs solving and a market to work with, we had to do research.

i. Small Businesses Findings

In the U.S., there are 31.7 million small businesses

  • 9.8 million women-owned

  • 5.2 million minority-owned

The growing market

  • The trademark filings increased by 39% from 2016 to 2020. 

  • The total number of trademark filings in 2020 is 738,112.

  • People have already filed 1/3 of trademark applications in Q1 2021, compared to 2020. 

ii. Trademark Market Findings

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 11.29.10 AM.png

The underserved global populations (USPTO,2020)

  • 43 out of 49 economies have fewer women entrepreneurs than mean 

  • Ages between 18-24 are the age group with the fewest number of small businesses

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 11.29.42 AM.png

The rejected application in 2020 (USPTO, 2020)

  • The total number of applicants in 2020 is 728,112, and 216,412 (29%) of them got rejected due to different reasons. 

  • With that said, I believe TrademarkVana could have helped the 29% of applicants successfully obtain a trademark. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 11.29.47 AM.png

Money lost in 2020

  • If it cost $225 per application, it means the total amount lost due to rejected applications in 2020 itself is $48,692,700. 

  • If the issue is not solved, I believed there is more money lost in the future due to the rising number of applicants. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 11.29.52 AM.png

Average pendency for trademarks

  • If the applicants get rejected and decided to re-apply. They must wait for another 9 months or above to get the trademark application done. 

iii. Comparative Analysis

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 1.50.34 PM.png

iv. SWOT Analysis


  • No pattern or copyright application

  • Overwhelming education materials


  • Free search 

  • Expand I.P. Services

  • Allow renewal application


  • Competitors offer cheaper prices at services

  • Trademark or pattern refusals by USPTO


  • Educate entrepreneurs about the trademark application process

  • Offer two filing options: self-filing & attorney guided

  • Applicants get specific needs to match with an attorney

  • Applicants are matched with IP attorneys from small firms

  • White labels can be used by any practice

Design Solution - TrademarkVana's brand new white-label SaaS platform for IP properties

  • TrademarkVana’s new desktop platform will educate underserved startups on the importance of Trademark Strategy and empower them as they embark on their journey to registering their marks.

  • Created with an education-first mindset and backed by high-quality attorney services, startups will receive the support they need to make informed and educated decisions from application to Office Action, and beyond.

Ideation process ...

1. Create user persona, journey & empathy maps based on the research findings

The personas answered questions such as: "Who might use TrademarkVana?", "What are their needs and behaviours?"  and "What type of environments need to be explored?".

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 1.37.22 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 1.37.26 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 1.37.29 PM.png

Now we understand Justin's requirements ...

2. Determine the minimum viable products

When coming up with an MVP we broke our product into two different categories: things that are required from all trademark applicants, and general functionality our application would need. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 1.44.26 PM.png

Once we had everything ready ...

3. Design a user flow for Justin

User Story: Justin is the founder & CEO of LivEd, a software educational platform for remote learning. He previously registered his company as LevelUp but the submission was declined by USPTO. He then decided to change the company name to LivEd and submit a new application to USPTO again to register for his business trademark including the name and logo. 

Screen Shot 2022-10-22 at 5.36.15 PM.png

Let's begin ...

A high-fidelity prototype on Figma

Here's a prototype of how Justin registered his IP properties under TrademarkVana's trademark search with self-filing service. 

  1. Profile: Allow users to fill in their personal information in advance before filing for an application

  2. Dashboard: Allow users to access their profile, view the application status, and obtain educational materials about IP and trademarks. 

  3. Application: One-page application form allows the user to enter their information at one time with autosaving features to avoid data loss. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 3.30.37 PM.png

Clean user Interface

  • One-page application form with a dropdown to avoid confusion.

Educational Keywords

  • Definition provided to avoid errors. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

Artificial Intelligence Assistance

  • Applicants get access to more information by searching the keywords. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 3.30.59 PM.png

Filter & Search 

  • Applicants get to search for the class that matches their business the most.

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 3.31.22 PM.png

Two options

  • Applicants get to choose whether to self-file or request an attorney's assistance. 

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 2.06.37 PM.png

Application Statis

  • Applicants get to choose whether to do self-file or request an attorney's assistance. 

Reflections & Takeaways

Lack of proper user interviews and usability testing. 

Though I believed the deliverables we had was enough to justify the problem statement, however, if I get to re-do the assignment, I would want to spend some time interviewing the users about their experiences. I personally think the users' opinions are the most straightforward information that could affect our design thinking/logic. It would be better if we can also carry out usability testing on the products to figure out the exact part that needed amendment. 

bottom of page