EDIT I could formulate my question differently... Seen that this is a startup forum, there may be a possibility that someone else has written and sold a commercial software (I've got nearly 200 beta-testers and a very high "conversion rate" [ie: beta testers using it every day] and I'm serious about this, the thing is "going live" any day soon now). So I've got a question for such an hypotetic person, who'd happen to have sold such a commercial software: did you register your product's name and if you did, why? And if you didn't, why not?
So my question is not so much "how can I protect my software's name" but "should I trademark/register my product's name?".
As far as I can see from my own searches and from the answers here, trademarking the product name in Europe and the U.S. would cost about 2 000 Euros. But I'm totally bootstrapping this business: I've invested countless hours (one full year) and I've now a product that shall hit the market any day soon. I don't want to spend 2K if it's not important to register the product name as a trademark/registered mark.
For example I've got a very hard time believing people writing apps for the appstore all register their product name and I've got a very hard time believing micro-independent software vendor register their software's name.
What are they risking by not doing so? (seen that for example the .com is already domain squatted, it's not like anyone's going to be able to 'steal' it away from me since I don't have it anyway).
What else do I risk by not trademarking/registering?
The original question:
I've got a company (the equivalent of an LLC) and the matching five letters dot com since 7 years.
Now I've got about 200 beta-testers giving very good feedback and I've got a product name but... Nobody knows what the name is yet (the beta testers have been testing versions without the product name).
The .com is domain squatted, but I took "productnameapp.com", "product-name.com", "productname.net" and some other as well just in case.
So from a domain name point of view, I feel happy even if I don't have "the" .com I'd like (productname.com).
Now I'm wondering: can I and should I register the product name? (I'm in Europe btw but beta-testers and target audience is "everywhere there's Internet").
Is there any point in registering a product name?
I'm bootstrapping this and I'm not going to pay a lawyer at this point, so answers "ask a lawyer" are not what I'm after (otherwise I'd be on the phone with a lawyer, not here ;)
What would the benefits of registering/trademarking/whatever the product name?
What would the disavantages of not registering/tradermarking/whatever the product name be?
(btw the product is simply a commercial software)