Shark Tank

What a rollercoaster this week of Shark Tank was. We got through episode six with barely a mention of intellectual property (IP) and then episode seven gave us a thrill ride. Now that’s not to say there’s no lesson out of the likes of CapHat and GetitASAP from episode six.

Again, there was a lot of talk of scalability, so you can read our IP wrap-up from last week for more on this.

If you tuned in last night, you’re sure to want more information on patents, trade marks and IP ownership. So what are the key takeaways and lessons learnt from each of the pitches?

CapHat – The IP trifecta

Aussies love the outdoors, and CEO and Inventor Bernie Sharrad is no exception. CapHat are aiming to put a lid on skin cancer and disrupt predicted statistics, not just in Australia, but globally. And in their arsenal are three of the four IP rights we administer. It’s great to see the combination of patents, designs and trade marks being used to protect a product before it’s launched into the international market. We recently took an opportunity to talk with Bernie from CapHat about his ultimate sun protection strategy and IP journey. Bernie shares a number of tips for other start-ups and small businesses. The sharks capped off Bernie’s day with a deal! 

Fred – a bloke from the bush with a refreshing proposition

At the other end of this scale was Fred with his Automated Flaggers, but if you’re only pitching for a case of beer you’ve got to make wise IP investment choices. It wasn’t rocket science, but a great example of Aussie ingenuity. Fred wasn’t there to beat around the bush that’s for sure.

ASAP Delivery – Get it ASAP, get it?

Wednesday night also brought us the duo from Sydney, Daniel and Dylan with their service delivery. It turned out to not be the service delivery that the sharks were after. It was great to see the boys had considered IP protection and filed a trade mark. If you need trade mark protection ASAP, we can help.

Our key takeaway from shark Steve Baxter was ‘if you’re a tech start-up, you need in-house tech!’

Potty Plant – sending the sharks barking mad

Now this female entrepreneur with a green solution to a puppy problem showed her competitors to stay off her patch having protected her natural grass dog potty training business with an innovation patent and a trade mark.

Now it didn’t start a dog fight, but it’s sure to be a dog owner’s delight. Julia’s new ground breaking product, Australia’s first real grass toilet secured a deal, ultimately brought about by a great business and brand alignment between Julia and shark Dr. Glen Richards.

If you didn’t know there are two types of patents in Australia. Unlike a standard patent, you only pay to have an innovation patent examined when you need to stop others from copying you. If it is examined and certified the innovation patent offers the same level of protection as a standard patent.

Not sure if your business would benefit from a standard or innovation patent? Find out the difference.

Shark Naomi Simson shared a word of wisdom to us all ‘The first step of entrepreneurship is always challenging and hard’

2wheelboard – ready to wheel and deal, but were the sharks on board for this bumpy ride?

It was Thursday night’s show which turned the bright lights onto IP. The 2wheelboard invention combines a surfboard, skateboard and snowboard in one. All the sharks were loving the 2wheelboard until they found out a contract was already in place to sign away the ownership of the IP, namely the patent, Naomi Simson tweeted ‘So sad when great inventions get lost because of bad or no advice’. We heard a lot about patents, so you can get the low down on our website.  

Registering IP can be a hard thing to navigate at the best of times, so have a number of resources designed to help. Even if you decide to seek professional advice, we think it’s best to give yourself a head start by getting your head around the basics. You can start with our page on understanding IP.

Key takeaways for this pitch was around IP ownership – who, where and what – investors want to know, contracts and getting the right advice. We quoted Naomi saying ‘get good advice before signing a contract’.

Giving yourself a head start by understanding the basics of IP ownership and checking out our quick tips to avoid IP ownership disputes

Were pleased to see Naomi do her bit to help this Aussie inventor and product.

Red Burlesque

Former marketing guru Adam Coutta from Red Burlesque was hoping to inspire passion in the sharks and ended up leaving us with a number of lessons learnt.  

When Naomi Simson tweeted ‘No IP protection… the name is not available – no trademark – big fault in the strategy OOPS’ she was talking about Red Burlesque’s decision to continue trading with a name they didn’t think they could register as a trade mark. Unfortunately Red Burlesque are not alone here. Knowing someone else owns the name you’re trying to use can be very costly.

Janine Allis then tweeted ‘first thing you need to do, is trademark your name.’ and ‘You have you to own your own name’. Is that in a registered TM? Knowing someone else owns the name you’re trying to use can be very costly. Followed by some reiterated again with ‘How are you going to sell your product if you don’t own the IP.

It’s clear the sharks and investors value IP protection, especially when it comes to your brand. Don't make the same mistake and consider if trade mark protection is right for you.

Superfood Sushi – the sharks weren’t interested in taking a bite

Now the mother and son team presented Australia’s only vegan sushi café, which they hoped they could franchise and license. However the duo left a bad taste in Steve Baxter’s mouth and unfortunately didn’t net a shark the environmentally sustainable way.

Size of market is important, but so is knowing you’re protected, whether you’re looking to dominate the world or just a small niche. Straight from shark Naomi Simson’s mouth: ‘Is it niche or is it worth a serious investment to scale – it’s all about the market size and market reach’ and ‘Know YOUR market size’.

We heard the duo talk about licensing and franchising their business, so that’s where our information on ways to commercialise IP comes in.

Again, great to see another Aussie business protecting their brand with a trade mark. Guy and Pepe were clearly as passionate about IP as they are vegan, and can now distinguish their goods and services from those of another business.  

Your Closet – Rent the Dress, Own the Night – well she sure did!

We say 20 year old savvy entrepreneur, Briella the founder and director of Your Closet pitching her online service business. By giving women access to luxury experiences Your Closet is changing the meaning of ownership and revolutionising retail, allowing women to access luxury designer collections at a fraction of the retail price.

Great brand? You can protect your name and logo with a trade mark. If you’re like Briella and running your business from home, check out’s information on running a home based business.

It’s not just logos which can be registered, maybe brand identities involving taglines.

Same time same place next week – Double the deals. Double the money.

10 June 2016