Last night on Shark Tank we saw four innovative start-ups pitch their business ideas to the panel of sharks and they all had one thing in common – trade mark protection.
First in the tank Gary Elphick from Disrupt Sports presented his customised surfboards and 'think globally, act locally' approach. The sharks loved the product, but if you swim with sharks you risk being bitten, and Janine wasn’t impressed with his presentation of financials. For businesses and start-ups sourcing investment, it’s vital to know your figures like the back of your hand so you can quickly and accurately answer questions from investors.
If there’s one thing Shark Tank has taught us, it’s know your numbers!
Stand out in the crowd – the importance of brand
This episode was all about trade mark protection. A trade mark can be a business’s most valuable marketing tool, and is your identifier - the way of making your business stand out from the crowd.
We were excited to see that all four of the entrepreneurs on last night’s episode - Her Fashion Box, Disrupt Sports, Car Next Door and Superorbs - have chosen to protect their brands with a trade mark.
Did you know the more successful your business, the more valuable your trade mark becomes?
Kath Purkis from Her Fashion Box delivers ‘happiness and Christmas to women all around the world’. Kath presented a flawless pitch and thoroughly impressed the sharks with her deep business knowledge. Kath’s trade mark will stand her in good stead with her investors and be vital as she continues to grow and gain traction in the Australian market.
As shark Steve Baxter said, ‘IP protection helps’. You can find out why in our wrap-up of episode 7 from last season.
What is patent pending you ask?
We heard Car Next Door peer car sharing platform co-founders Will and Dave who drove away with a deal mention that they have a patent pending for their inventive GPS booking system involving lock boxes on cars. A patent is a great option for protecting your device, substance or method that is new, inventive and useful.
If you have filed a complete patent application, you can use the phrase patent pending.
But remember – many patent applications are not successful because the invention is not new because the applicant disclosed it to the public before applying for a patent. Make sure you’re across the patent application process and the common problems.
Can you keep a secret?
In an out of this world experience, Super Orbs co-owners Shath and Bren pitched their low GI, nutritious 40gram vegan snack super foods that enable consumers to ‘taste life in the next dimension’. These tasty treats bring to mind one of the less well-known forms of IP – the trade secret. This intellectual property right is very useful for businesses who wish to keep confidential business information that gives them a competitive edge. This could include secret formulas, processes or in the case of unique foods, a special recipe! Coca-cola is a great example of effectively using a trade secret for their cola recipe.
Blown out of the water – Scrubba now a global product
It was great to see a follow up feature on Ash Newland from the Scrubba wash bag. Since featuring on Shark Tank, the Scrubba wash bag has exceeded all expectations, and is now in hundreds of retail stores all around the world. We caught up with Ash recently and had a chat to him about crowdfunding.
Until next time… Episode 3 of Shark Tank airs 9.00pm on Sunday 22 May on TEN. In the meantime, never miss a pitch with our live updates and wrap-up blogs.
- Why not start with understanding the basics of trade marks?
- If you have a device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful, you may need a patent.
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