On Saturday I visited Plumpton College near Lewes, for their annual open day. On display amongst the new-born lambs, Sussex wines, tractors and chainsaws was a stand for Kikka Digga. With my curiosity for all things new, I sauntered over and chatted to the demonstrator Nick Skaliotis. It turned out this was the very first public outing for the his new invention, which he claimed would make digging gardens significantly easier.
Mid-way through our conversation I asked if Nick had patented his invention, he looked more closely at me and said, "I know you". It turned out he has been a regular in the Business & IP Centre at the British Library. In addition to getting help with his patent from our wonderful Inventor in Residence Mark Shehean. He also attended several of our workshops including lean start-up webinar, social media for business and trade marks.
After hearing Nick‚Äôs story I just had to buy his product to see if it really did live up to his claims. Also, I hoped it would help me to avoid the lower back-pain I now get every time I dig over my vegetable patch.
As soon as I got home I took the two pieces of metal out of package and installed them onto my fork. This was as simple as the instructions indicated with just two items to clamp onto my fork.
As you can see from my photos below, I was able to dig over a small section of my very weedy heavy clay soil quickly and easily using Kikka Digga. And, even better, I had no twinges in my lower back afterwards. So I am definitely sold on the product.
I also like the name Kikka Digga, for being simple and memorable. And it has even more k‚Äôs than the legendary Kodak brand. George Eastman said about the letter k, ‚Äúit seems a strong, incisive sort of letter.‚ÄĚ I am also glad to see that Nick has registered the name at the UK Intellectual Property Office.
You can see a demonstration of the invention in action on YouTube. And keep up to date with Nick‚Äôs progress on Facebook or Twitter.
I can‚Äôt wait to see how the gardeners of Great Britain take to this wonderful invention.
Kikka Digga newly assembled on my fork in seconds
My first few digs into my heavy clay soil are surprisingly easy
Misty is as impressed as I am by the speed and ease in digging up the plot.
By Neil Infield in the Business & IP Centre London team
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 2:03 PM
At the British Library‚Äôs Business & IP Centre we regularly work with start-up and growth businesses with a focus on all things design. I recently attended ‚ÄėI Knit Fandango' at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster, London, which is a huge knitting festival and market bursting with lots of beautiful yarns, fabulous fibre and amazing patterns. The vast majority of the exhibitors were small businesses. Most produced the yarn and designed the patterns they sold themselves.
I enjoyed talking to the exhibitors about knitting, a great passion of mine, and about their use of social media and intellectual property for their small businesses. However, I was surprised at the number of exhibitors who didn‚Äôt think intellectual property was relevant to them.
Intellectual Property, or IP, relates to creations of the mind such as inventions, music, poetry, paintings, books and designs etc., as well as the signs and symbols used by businesses to indicate the origin of their goods or services.
On a basic level, having a trade mark allows your customers to find you. Whether they are using the internet or social media or just walking the high street they can quickly identify who they are dealing with when looking for particular products or services. Having your trade mark on your website and any social media channels will allow customers to recognise and identify your brand with your products. As the reputation of your business grows so will the value of your trade mark.
Choosing a trade mark
How do you choose a trade mark? Well, that is very much a personal choice, but it is worth remembering that trade marks don‚Äôt have to be complicated. Take the image below:
It is instantly recognisable as the Nike tick or swoosh and is also recognisable regardless of the country the product is sold in; no words are necessary.
As rumour has it, the word ‚ÄėKodak‚Äô was devised by George Eastman and his mother mainly because the letter ‚ÄėK‚Äô was Eastman‚Äôs favourite letter. Coined words, as they are known, have the advantage of being easy to protect due to their distinctiveness, but they may also need greater efforts to imprint them on the minds of consumers.
Creating a trade mark is no easy task and it is not helped by the fact that there are really no hard and fast rules as to what makes a successful trade mark. However there are some things you should bear in mind:
Firstly, your trade mark has to meet all the legal requirements for trade mark registration in whatever jurisdiction you are intending to register it in.
Secondly, your trade mark must be distinctive enough to be protectable and registrable with the relevant intellectual property office.
If you are using a text mark you might want to remember the following;
Your trade mark should be easy to read and pronounce in all languages relevant to your market.
Your trade mark should not have any adverse meaning in slang (in English or any other foreign language if you intend to trade abroad).
Your trade mark should not create any confusion as to the nature of your product.
You can work with freelance designers or design companies to create your trade mark, but you need to ensure that all the intellectual property rights to the trade mark are assigned to you as otherwise they will remain with the person/company who created the mark, regardless of whether or not you paid for the service.
Register your trade mark
Once your trade mark is designed you will need to register it. I should say here that you don‚Äôt have to register your trade mark but having a registered mark gives you the right to sue anyone who infringes it and to prevent competitors from using/registering an identical or confusingly similar mark. For an unregistered trade mark you would have to rely on the common law of ‚Äėpassing off‚Äô for protection and that can prove extremely difficult.
Registering a UK trade mark costs a minimum of ¬£170 if you register online or ¬£200 if you register on paper. Fees are not refundable and do not guarantee registration of your trade mark, so before you register you might want to:
1. Search to see if the trade mark you want to use is already in use
Although it is not requirement to filing an application, in the Business & IP Centre we would encourage you to search the free trade mark databases to see if any marks have already been registered that are similar to your mark. A list of the free search databases can be found and accessed via our website.
If someone else is using a similar trade mark to yours check whether it is being used in the same class of goods or services as yours. There are 45 classes of goods and services and it is possible for proprietors to have the same trade mark, provided they have registered their mark in different classes. An example would be ‚ÄúPolo‚ÄĚ mints and ‚ÄúPolo‚ÄĚ the Volkswagen car.
2. Think about it long term
Think about where you want your business to be in twelve months or in five years‚Äô time. A trade mark lasts for ten years, and can be renewed every 10 years, so actually has the potential to last forever. When registering your mark you should take this into account, and include in your registration, all the classes that you intend to trade in within the following five years. Why five years if the trade mark lasts for ten? Well, if you do not start trading in all of the classes in which your mark is registered within five years of registration, opponents can apply to the Intellectual Property Office to have your trade mark revoked in the unused classes.
3. Don‚Äôt do it alone
Understanding how to protect your intellectual property can sometimes be a minefield. However, there are ways you can access free or low cost assistance to guide you through the process. If you need some help searching databases to see if your logo or a similar one already exists then come to the Business & IP Centre where our Information Specialists will be more than happy to guide you through the free trade mark search databases. We also offer a number of intellectual property and business workshops. Including:
Many of the exhibitors I spoke with at ‚ÄėI Knit Fandango‚Äô hadn‚Äôt thought of protecting their brands and one exhibitor even asked ‚ÄúIs it worth it?‚ÄĚ. It is worth remembering that your trade mark or brand will be the most valuable piece of intellectual property you will have. This is because we, as consumers, buy into brands as these assure us of a certain level of quality or of service. When we find a brand we like we tend to stay loyal to it and it is the goodwill a company builds up under its brand that gives it its value.
At the Business & IP Centre we regularly help those who have unknowingly infringed another‚Äôs trade mark or who have had their trade marks stolen or used incorrectly. In order to protect your company‚Äôs identity ‚Äď protect your trade mark from the start.
Maria Lampert, Information Expert at the British Library
Maria has worked in the field of intellectual property since she joined the British Library in January 1993. She is currently the British Library Business & IP Centre‚Äôs Intellectual Property Expert, where she delivers 1-2-1 business and IP advice clinics, as well as intellectual property workshops and webinars on regular basis.
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 2:04 PM
Across the Business & IP Centre National Network and at Newcastle Libraries, home of the Business & IP Centre Newcastle, we believe it‚Äôs important for everyone to have a think about copying. We want individuals and businesses to know about their rights to use content and creations that are either in the public domain or under an open license - and to learn more about copyright generally. As we say in our intellectual property workshops make sure you ‚Äúdon‚Äôt infringe!‚ÄĚ
That‚Äôs why we are having a bit of an alternative event in Newcastle on 27April. Copying ‚Äď right or wrong? is a question and answer session with author and activist Cory Doctorow and law lecturer Rebecca Moosavian. Cory Doctorow makes several of his books available for free download on his website (under a Creative Commons license) and Rebecca Moosavian‚Äôs research focuses on the appropriateness of applying property rights to culture.
Copy-right or copy-wrong?
We know that to copy something is wrong; it‚Äôs been ingrained in us since we were children - and as we grew up copying took the name of ‚Äėplagiarism‚Äô. Whether your interests are listening to music, appreciating artwork, watching films or TV series, we know copying a song, a film or a TV show without permission is wrong. Every time we watch a DVD we are told that copying the DVD is piracy. Websites are often closed down because of infringement of copyright ‚Äď the right given to creators or owners of the intellectual property to control what is done with their works and YouTube videos are removed. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were more talked about for being found guilty by a US court of copying the late Marvin Gaye‚Äôs songs than for their musical talent (the court did not make any comments on the latter).
CC BY-NC-SA Chris Messina (Cropped ; Original picture on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/6709784133)
And yet, I copy. Yes. You do too. We all copy. As you can imagine, I would never admit to doing anything illegal and I am certainly not accusing you, of committing any crimes either! That must mean there are cases where copying is right, legal and even encouraged. For example, you buy a CD, then copy it onto your computer, then copy all the tracks again on your MP3 player so you can listen to the album on the go. That is perfectly legal - and it has been very clearly so in the UK since the last changes to copyright law came into force in November 2014. So let‚Äôs see what the law does allow.
When it is legal to copy
- Copyright does not last forever - even though new laws can change its duration, copyright has an end ‚Äď in most cases, count 70 years after the end of the year in which the work‚Äôs creator died. What happens to the work after that? It enters the public domain ‚Äď it belongs to everyone, and anyone can use it, without asking permission.
- Copyright exceptions - the law recognises that there are cases when we do not need to ask for permission to re-use a work. For example, when we make a copy for private use (like with our CD), or we copy and publish an extract for review purposes, or when creating a parody of a famous picture by copying it and adding something humorous to it.
- Open licenses - sometimes the copyright owner will publish their work and tell you it is fine for you to copy it without asking for their permission. The most common way to do this is to use Creative Commons licenses ‚Äď like the ones on the pictures illustrating this post. CC BY-SA on the image below means ‚Äúthis work is licensed under a Creative Commons license; you can use it without asking for permission as long as you credit the author and share it under the same license‚ÄĚ.
But let‚Äôs get back to business. How does all this apply to you as an entrepreneur? When you create something, you are proud of its originality and inventiveness (and rightly so); you would be horrified if someone copied you. In business, entrepreneurs legitimately want to stop others from copying them: if a competitor copies your unique selling point, then how are you going to differentiate yourself in the market? In the Business & IP Centre Network and the other PATLIB centres you can discuss with an adviser how best to protect your creations against copying. We will tell you all about copyright, but also designs, patents and trade marks.
Some large companies, like Dyson, have an impressive intellectual property strategy to protect their ideas. However, other companies like the one behind the Sriracha sauce has a more lenient strategy and encourages others to use their product name in order to generate free advertising and Elon Musk recently announced that other companies are now welcome to copy and use Tesla‚Äôs patented technology. Each company needs to think about what is the right approach for their business.
There are also industries that thrive on a type of copying ‚Äď one that is called ‚Äúinspiration‚ÄĚ. Think about fashion, music, art, etc. It poses some pertinent questions for business owners; how would you react to another business copying you? Would your reaction be different if you were copied by individuals? Do you think people who copy and share your content on social networks without your permission are right, or wrong? This World Intellectual Property Day take the opportunity to get informed and discuss the role of intellectual property to encourage and control innovation and enterprise in your business.
If you are not able to join us in Newcastle for Copying ‚Äď right or wrong? on 27 April you can still follow the event on Twitter using #CmnsR4ever and let us know in the comments: what do you think? When is it right to copy? When is it wrong? What should be made legal / illegal in terms of copying?
Aude Charillonon behalf of the Business & IP Centre Newcastle
Aude is Library and Information Officer at the Business & IP Centre Newcastle and leads the Commons are Forever project, which aims to empower participants about our rights to use creative works that are free of copyright, and to in turn share what we create with others.
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 4:49 PM
It is said that 'The meek shall inherit the Earth', but for now it's the inherently rich and shrewd.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) include patent, registered or unregistered trademarks, design rights, copyright, or more commonly a strategic combination of each. Protecting your intangible assets can be as rewarding as protecting your physical property, but it can be a complex and expensive job to secure, maintain and defend them. Therefore it is important to remember that you may not have to keep your idea or product secret in order to protect it - there are other formal ways to do it.
The key is to get impartial professional advice early on and formulate an IPR strategy. I clearly remember my confused state, of trying to understand all the processes involved (not just on IPR protection, but the inventing business in general). The learning curve was enough to drive me mad, although I do say 'The nearer to insanity I get, the better I invent' - the trick is getting back!
Getting into the nitty-gritty world of how to protect your invention with a patent, with some do's, don'ts and tips on IPR's that I have learnt, sometimes the hard way.
Patenting steps - do's and don'ts
To patent something it needs an inventive step, never to be thought of before anywhere in the world ever and something that someone schooled in the art would not have thought of.
Do have a professional patent search carried out at the British Library Business & IP Centre. The 'new' part I mentioned earlier is important, before spending significant amounts of time and money on the idea, only to find it has been done before and is protected or is in the public domain already greatly weakening your position.
Don't disclose your invention to anyone without protecting any protectable IPR's first or get them to sign a confidentiality agreement. If not, it may prevent you from obtaining a patent later.
Don't write a patent yourself. It may save money, but it is a false economy. If your idea is a success, you will regret the day you did that. Ifyou intend to licence, sell outright or defend the invention you will look amateurish when the patent is reviewed. And, more critically, you may have left something important out, or worded something wrong, making it vulnerable (easier to get around). Remember, a patent can be the most valuable asset a company owns. Poorly written and all could be lost.
You have twelve months, from filing a patent application, to file foreign applications. At that point, do your homework, to get the broadest country‚Äôs protection (on where the product will be sold and manufactured) at the lowest cost possible. You can do this in the Business & IP Centre London or in one of the National Centres. The trick is to know your market, so it may be possible to file in the smallest number of countries to cover most of it (note, you can delay this stage by eighteen months using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)).
If you have kept your invention secret, within the twelve month period from filing the application, you can withdraw the application and re-file, but note, you lose the original priority date and risk that someone filed something similar in that lost period.
I tend to keep things secret and file the patent application late. I do this because if you are still developing the idea, it could be very different after the twelve months, so might need significant changes or a total rewrite.
Using the British Library
As a regular user of the British Library facilities, for research and patents information, in the past and being their first ever 'Inventor in Residence', I offer free one-to-one hour long confidential meetings, called 'ask an expert'. It is disturbing and frustrating to commonly see, the ownership of great ideas slip through the inventor's fingers, because they made it public before protecting it (frequently with university student projects), or got misdirected and over charged by a so called professional Patent Attorney.
Mark Sheahan, 'Inventor in Residence' for the British Library, President of the 'Institute of Patentees and Inventors', a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Vice Chairman of the 'Round table of Inventors'.
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 12:53 PM
Here at the Business & IP Centre we strive to assist businesses looking to start up and grow in a number of ways: they can explore the research resources in our reading room, attend our events or book in for a 121 session to discuss their idea. One of the most popular services we offer are our workshops - run by centre staff and expert partners, they help start-ups, inventors and entrepreneurs get to grips with a number of crucial business areas, from intellectual property to social media.
Most of our workshops are held onsite in our dedicated workshop rooms - however, we recognise that busy entrepreneurs aren't always able to make it into the Centre in person. So, like the businesses we see each day, we strive to be innovative, harness technology and adapt to our customers' needs, and therefore offer a programme of free online webinars accessible to anyone - in any location - from their computer. Alongside the National Network, the webinars are a way to reach beyond our presence in London; helping entrepreneurs across the country and even the world ‚Äď we‚Äôve had attendees from New York to Newcastle.
Attendees simply need to book online and log in on the day, and one of our team will talk you through an online presentation, with an opportunity to ask questions at the end.
Over the next few months, with funding from the Intellectual Property Office, we are running a series of intellectual property webinars, covering patents, designs and copyright. These webinars will introduce the different forms of intellectual property protection, guide attendees through searching for previous registrations, and show them how to protect their work. Wherever you are, if you've ever wanted to learn about IP while still in your PJs, these could be for you!
A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made, and can be a key asset in business. This webinar will explain the basics behind patent protection and registration, and how to use internet databases and resources to search for patents. The session will include a live demonstration of a patent search to guide delegates through the process.
Introducing Registered Designs
Friday 13 February 1pm ‚Äď 2pm
A registered design protects the appearance of a product. This webinar will explain the basics behind registered design protection and registration, and how to use internet databases and resources to search for designs. The session will include a live demonstration of a registered design search to guide delegates through the process.
Friday 13 March 1pm ‚Äď 2pm
Copyright protects original creations, from literary and artistic works to software. This webinar will explains the basics behind copyright protection, including eligible works, duration of protection, and an introduction to protecting and managing your copyright as well as using the work of others.
When we look back at the toys of 2014, it will be remembered for Loom Bands. Cheong Choon Ng created a plastic loom for his children to weave colourful rubber bands into bracelets and charms, and Rainbow Loom is the registered trade name of his invention.
From his beginnings in Malaysia to his current his life in the USA, his story is interesting and inspiring. The idea came about when helping his daughters with their rubber band craft making, but he admits that his biggest challenge was to convince his wife to risk their life savings to invest in his invention. ‚ÄúI am the one in the family with all the crazy ideas, and she is my reality check‚ÄĚ. A couple of years later and Rainbow Loom is a multi-million pound international business. You can read Cheong‚Äôs story in his own words in the Guardian newspaper, Experience - I invented the Loom Bands.
Loom band inventor Cheong Choon Ng with his wife Fen
The Rainbow Loom website is a splendid example of how it has become a global sensation, showcasing tutorial videos, press stories , a ‚ÄėLoominaries‚Äô community and Loom network. In A craze for 'loom bands' Richard Gottlieb, from consultants Global Toy Experts, says ‚ÄúIt wasn‚Äôt driven by advertising or big companies‚Ä¶ there‚Äôs a difference between creating a product that sells, and a phenomenon. There‚Äôs a bit of magic about it‚ÄĚ. The products made by Loom bands range from bracelets, to dresses, shoes, handbags, brooches and pimped products such as watches Rainbow Loom Creations Pinterest board and on Rainbow Loom‚Äôs twitter feed @RainbowLoom.
When something is so successful, others will inevitably try to copy your idea. This is what has happened with Cheong Choon Ng‚Äôs invention, with copy-cat products and similar sounding names.
I am sure that Choon Ng‚Äôs children played a great part in getting his product to gain traction and impact, and he calls this the ‚ÄėRainbow Loom ecosystem‚Äô. I particularly like that this has encouraged young children and adults to become creative and entrepreneurial with loom bands. I was given a bracelet by a young relative on holiday in Italy as a sign of friendship, and I was asked by another to buy one in my national colours for the Notting Hill Carnival to raise funds for her school trip.
Rainbow Loom‚Äôs executive, Philo Pappas, attributes its success to the product‚Äôs inherent customization and social aspects, ‚Äúwith kids and tweens now it is all about creating something unique and personalized, which is exactly what the Rainbow Loom does. Plus Kids love to come up with new designs and share them with each other, so there‚Äôs a social element too‚ÄĚ.
So the question is - have you got a toy idea or product that can capture everyone‚Äôs imagination? I know that we often advise visitors to the Business & IP Centre with their toy ideas. Through one of our Business and IP Clinics I met chess board designer Purling London who has create a handcrafted under-lit chess board for fine art collectors and professional chess players. The idea came from trying to play chess on a beach in the dark. However in this case Simon Purkis is aiming for the premium end of the market. Our Toys Industry Guide gives a pointer to which toy trends are up and which are on the way out, as well as the key companies, and links to help get started such as the British Toy Makers Guild.
Our partner Bang Creations runs regular workshops to help get your idea to market. They work through your unique selling point, who are your customers, how to get into production, how many you need to make, and how reach your customers.
Play is an important part of life, and if you are looking for inspiration have a look at the British Library‚Äôs Playtimes portal. It brings together 100 years of children‚Äôs songs, rhymes and games, from conkers to singing games, rude jokes to fantasy play.
In closing, I wanted to share a quote from Choon Ng, ‚ÄúI knew that not many inventors have their dream come true like this one. But living it now, I treasure every moment of it. I would say this is the best time of my life‚ÄĚ.
Seema Rampersad on behalf of Business & IP Centre London
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 11:54 AM
Spoiler alert! Unfortunately it was difficult to examine the IP mentions below without revealing a little of the plot, so if you haven‚Äôt seen the film yet and plan to, look away now.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the film Transformers: Age of Extinction. I was interested in the film as Ohyo, one of the Business & IP Centre‚Äôs Success Stories, has produced a limited edition of their bottle to tie in with its release. As well as being a very entertaining - almost three hours of robots, aliens, and robot-alien-dinosaurs, the IP geek in me also found much to enjoy in the many mentions of intellectual property within the film.
One of the main characters, Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) is pretty much your standard action hero ‚Äď rugged, wisecracking, good with a gun. But he‚Äôs also a struggling inventor, and as such is rather more au fait with the concepts of intellectual property than you‚Äôd expect from your average blockbuster protagonist. He jokes about IP, and worries about ownership of his creations.
Discussing an invention with his friend near the beginning of the film, their main debate is over intellectual property rights. And his reaction on using a huge alien gun is ‚ÄėOh, man. I'm so gonna patent this sh*t.‚Äô (It‚Äôs doubtful, of course, that he actually could, but then this isn‚Äôt really a film built on gritty realism.) And it‚Äôs not just Yeager: in another scene, during a battle between Bumblebee (an Autobot robot) and Stinger (an apparently new and improved Decepticon copy of his opponent), the former comments ruefully: ‚ÄėI hate these cheap knock-offs‚Äô. (Then he feeds his rival‚Äôs head to a two-headed robotic pterosaur, not an approach we‚Äôd normally recommend in regard to IP infringement).
Perhaps the scriptwriters are simply demonstrating a healthy dose of self-awareness, as there is, of course, a huge amount of valuable intellectual property contained within a brand like Transformers, spanning as it does a multitude of media. From the film to the merchandise to the name itself, Transformers will be covered by a variety of IP protection, from trademarks and copyright to patents. Below is the 1985 patent (number 4,516,948) for the Optimus Prime toy, by designer Hiroyuki Obara.
The film also offers some good advice for all would-be inventors out there, in a scene where Cade Yeager confronts a scientist whose creations have had dire repercussions for the world: ‚ÄėYou're an inventor like me, so I know you have a conscience. Don't let your creation take control.‚Äô
Whilst, of course, most good inventions have positive outcomes, you can take control of ‚Äď and learn to protect - your ideas by learning more about intellectual property here at the Business & IP Centre.
Naming your business, brand, product, company etc should be an easy and simple process but getting it right seldom is.
Neil Taylor was a senior naming consultant at global brand consultancy Interbrand - the company behind such household names as Prozac, Expedia, Hobnobs and Viagra - and states that the name is the one part of the brand that you hope will never change as it is the primary means of identification for a brand.
Brands change logos, straplines, headquarters, people ‚Äď some of them even dramatically change what they do (Nokia started off making forestry products and rubber boots). But often the name is the one common thread that runs throughout the entire history of a company or product. So getting the name right is imperative and most hope never to change the name.
That means that when brands do change name, it‚Äôs a big and often costly deal. Remember when Opal Fruits became Starburst? When Marathon became Snickers? Oil of Ulay became Olay? Jif became Cif? All names that are still around today.
But what about Consignia ‚Äď the new name that The Post Office-Royal Mail opted for? There was such a public fuss about the name ‚Äď ‚ÄúDoesn‚Äôt sound like the national institution that Royal Mail does‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúSounds like a brand of anti-perspirant (Insignia)‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúConsignia means (appropriately) lost luggage in Spanish‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúUnfortunately they forgot that a more common use of ‚Äúconsign‚ÄĚ is to consign to the rubbish bin‚ÄĚ - that the name Consignia has now been consigned to history as a massive failure.
The Name of the Beast (The perilous process of naming products, companies and brands) looks at the practical aspects of naming. How do you come up with names in the first place ‚Äď what sort of name should you go for, what makes a good name etc? How do you make sure it doesn‚Äôt mean something awful in another language? How do you make sure that you don‚Äôt steal someone else‚Äôs name by accident (and then get taken to court)? How do you convince cynical colleagues, customers and journalists that your name isn‚Äôt worthy of the usual frenzy of devilish derision?
Within this humorous and easily readable book are tales of big brands, naming disasters, a smattering of insider knowledge and how 21st century super-brands like Google and Starbucks have built their empires on names with strong stories behind them.
Ziaad Khan on behalf of Business & IP Centre
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 3:39 PM
This book goes a long way to solving this problem. It is a step by step guide which can assist an entrepreneur in taking the idea in their head and turning it into a reality in the market place.
Written in easily digestible chapters covering topics such as ensuring that the idea is new, checking that a market for the product actually exists, and manufacturing and prototypes, the book takes the reader on a journey through the process of becoming an entrepreneur.
Each chapter includes a tip, based on the subject of the chapter, and a handy ‚ÄėChapter Wrap-up‚Äô reiterating the main points of the chapter.
It helps that the writer herself is an inventor and entrepreneur and has been there, done that, and has now written the book.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has come up with a product idea, and who wants to bring it to the market.
Amazon review by Karen Wilson - Being someone with an good idea but no clue of what to do next, this book was extremely helpful and packed with information and great advice. It was easy to read and make notes and really gave me the inspirational push I needed to continue with my product idea.
Posted by Innovation and Enterprise Team at 3:52 PM
I first met Tristan Titeux of Empatika when he joined our Innovating for Growth programme in September 2013 after attending one of our special ‚Äėbring a friend‚Äô Growth Clubs.
Empatika specialises in designing and making contemporary bespoke fitted furniture and also offer an eco-friendly option of furniture made of recycled cut-offs (see our post on Recycling Business Resolutions).
They are passionate about what they do, listen to the ideas of their customers, consider their needs and in partnership with them create a design that matches exactly what their customers have in mind.
Random Floating Tubes, designed by Empatika
Although already a thriving business, Tristan applied for a place on the programme because he wanted to grow. Innovating for Growth gave him one-to-one advisory sessions with our expert partners and advice on his business growth strategy, his branding and marketing approach, his product development strategy and his trade mark protection.
I chose to follow Tristan during his time in the Innovating for Growth programme by attending his one-to-one advisory sessions and observing his progress throughout the programme.
As a member of the Innovating for Growth project team, I did research work for Tristan and helped him identify market and consumer trends in the home and furniture industry, relevant quality and environmental standards, contact details of possible partners. I also helped him with trade mark clearance search, before he applied for new trade mark registration.
The programme helped Tristan identify the essence of his business and the business values that make his products and services different from his competitors, so that he can then establish a network of partners around the UK who will apply the same values and principles under his brand.
As a result, he is in the process of re-designing his website, trade mark and promotional material to reflect his business essence and values. He is also in the process of acquiring suitable business partners who will follow his stated business values and ethos.
Watch this space for the next stage for Empatika!
If you are an ambitious London-based established business want to apply for up to ¬£10,000 worth of funded advice and support tailored specifically for your business, have a look at our Innovating for Growth programme and apply before 24 March.
Irini Efthimiadou on behalf of Business & IP Centre