IP in the BIPC community
In the run up to World IP Day (26 April 2021), we are highlighting just how crucial intellectual property is when starting a business. Whether it’s a brilliant and unique product creation, or a name that’s just got a ring to it, IP is there to help you keep your ideas safe. Keep reading to find out about the fantastic businesses that we’ve helped with patents, trademarks, copyright and registered designs, here at the BIPC, and in our Network of centres across the country.
The Wood Life Project, Hazel Russell
Hazel is the co-founder of The Wood Life Project, alongside her husband Jimmy. The Wood Life Project manufactures beautiful, innovative, eco-friendly, practical products for the family home, with a focus on mealtimes. The product range consists of children's tableware, pet bowls and a range of boards for grown-ups. All products are manufactured in the UK and use sustainably grown and harvested wood from the UK.
Hazel and Jimmy decided to register the design rights on all of their products prior to launching them to the world. The decision to register their designs was made after listening to a podcast with Julie Deane of The Cambridge Satchel Company, who gave the advice to seek support from the Business & IP Centre at the British Library. They booked themselves into a one-to-one IP session with the BIPC and sought advice on the process. Their first designs were registered in April 2019.
Faraday Drinks, Omar Bahadur
BIPC Leeds’ entrepreneur, Omar Bahadur, founded Faraday after graduating from Bradford University. Faraday is natural raspberry rose flavoured water with similar caffeine to your typical energy drink but without the artificial ingredients, high sugar content or carbonation. Sustainability is also at the fore of the business as it’s served in an aluminium bottle that’s resealable and reusable.
Omar made sure to protect his intellectual property, taking out UK and US trademarks and a patent for the resealable bottle. This allows the product to be cheaper and more sustainable than using a traditional glass or plastic alternative.
Customer feedback is key to Omar’s plan, “we’re keen to implement the feedback from our customers across all areas. This also includes packing less into a case, strengthening our online presence via our website and Amazon, as well as tweaking the flavouring. Increasing our retail presence is likewise on the agenda. The pandemic has been beneficial for us in the sense that we landed the loan last year, without this I don’t think Faraday would exist today.”
Akila Dolls, Olivia Thompson
Olivia Thompson is the founder of Akila Dolls, which provides a range of diverse and disability baby dolls. After Olivia left her full-time job in a law firm to become a carer for her then seven year old daughter. It was on a shopping trip with her daughter, Amira, that they both noticed the lack of diversity and disability dolls in the high street shops.
With only a few savings Olivia began work on the doll illustration, packaging and concept book. During a global pandemic and home-schooling her daughter in June 2020 she successfully raised £6,000 through a crowdfunding platform to begin the manufacturing of the doll prototype. In the early stages of the business, Olivia used Business & IP Centre Leeds and one of their IP sessions to protect her idea.
Nimble Babies, Von Sy
Von Sy had always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and eventually decided to set up his own business using his skills as a chemist to help parents keep their babies bottles from smelling of stale milk. Unlike regular washing-up liquids that are made for heavy food grease, Nimble's patent-pending formula detaches milk fat and proteins from plastic surfaces.
Getting a granted patent is something that every inventor hopes for. Aside from protecting your invention from copycats and the honour of being a fully-fledged inventor, having a granted patent is a great intellectual property that can give your business economic benefits as well as better valuation later. After two years, Von Sy’s UK patent has been granted which gives us exclusive rights to the technology until 2035 and this has improved the chances of getting the patent applications approved in other countries too.
SnapDragon Monitoring, Rachel Jones
Rachel Jones is founder and Head Dragon at SnapDragon Monitoring in Edinburgh. SnapDragon delivers online brand protection, seller insights and market intelligence to brands around the world. Rachel founded SnapDragon based on her experiences of defending her first creation the Totseat – a washable squashable highchair for babies who lunch – from counterfeits. The British Library's Business & IP Centre played a significant role in the market research undertaken for both businesses.
SnapDragon Monitoring fights fakes online. They identify and remove infringing products from online marketplaces, social media sites, and websites. Intellectual property (IP) means they can remove the fakes. With the correct IP to prove originality, they can remove a link from Amazon in as short as four minutes.
Petvictus, Peter Hill
Peter Hill appeared on BBC's Dragons' Den in 2018 and won an offer of investment for his inventions, Pedaldish: The Lunchbox for Pets and Katfone: The Ultrasonic Whistle for Cats. As well as the product side of his business, Peter developed a series of lectures, team games and skills workshops to guide people through the core skills needed to start a new business.
Peter previously used BIPC Birmingham to get advice on registering his trademark. Since then, he’s been asked if he’d be interested in doing some more business presentations with them.
Cyclehoop, Tony Lau
Cyclehoop is an award-winning design that converts existing street furniture into secure bicycle parking. This innovative product won the Reinventing the Bike Shed international design competition and has been installed by local authorities across the United Kingdom.
It is a quick and cost effective solution helping local councils solve the problems of bicycle theft and the lack of on-street cycle parking. Their award-winning solutions rely very heavily on well-protected intellectual property. Tony received support on registered designs and patents from the Innovating for Growth programme and this free support helped elevate his business.
Click here to learn more about intellectual property and how you can use it to protect your business.