Since we successfully launched the business in 2010, we are often asked “Where did Sipara come from?” and “Why the turtle?”
As intellectual property lawyers, we are all too aware that some brands are easier to obtain and protect than others. We have spent many years helping clients through the process and it was fascinating to find ourselves in their shoes.
We wanted a fresh brand that would stand out from the traditional brands that characterise the legal industry. Having spent many years advising clients that made up words make the strongest brands, we decided to create one ourselves, which would not only be memorable and recognisable, but which could be cleared and registered quickly and be easily enforceable.
We kicked around many ideas and eventually came up with a shortlist. The next stage was to rank their relative strengths by checking availability and possible issues associated with adopting them.
We checked whether:
- anyone owned any earlier rights which could stop us using the brand
- the brand had a descriptive or deceptive meaning
- the brand had any unfavourable meanings or connotations
- the related domain name was available or, if not, could we buy it?
As with most searches it is rare to find a brand with no issues, and our shortlisted brands were no exception. Unfortunately, two of our favourite brands were quickly eliminated - internet searches showed that one had an unfortunate connotation, and the other was found to be similar to the name of a competitor’s database.
Luckily, one favourite option came safely through the process: ‘Sipara’.
As a made-up word, we thought the brand name Sipara had a pleasing yet confident sound to it, as well as incorporating the ‘IP’ which we have highlighted in what we feel is a simple, distinct and bold design.
To transform the brand into a strong corporate identity we felt it was essential to adopt a logo in conjunction with the name. We defined the key messages we wanted the logo to convey and listed various options.
When clearing ‘Sipara’, we discovered that our made up word was in fact a place in Papua New Guinea – known to be one of the most diverse and least explored countries in the world. We thought about the local flora and fauna, and discovered that the country is a stronghold for some major turtle breeds, providing an ideal habitat in important marine waters.
We felt the turtle was very much aligned with our key messages: The turtle conveys longevity, wisdom and knowledge, strong instincts and they have a strong protective shell. This led us to develop our strapline ‘Protected by Sipara’.
We then applied our new visual identity to the website so as to portray our brand message.
We applied for the trade mark for Sipara and the application passed smoothly through to registration (as anticipated). We obtained a full IP assignment from our design agency and then applied for a registered design for the logo. Sipara.co.uk was available and so easily purchased from Nominet. Sipara.com was already registered but inactive and we had already checked that the owner was willing to sell it to us for a small sum.