Shark Tank wrap up 10 - IP infringement

20 April 2015

We loved all the fresh young energetic entrepreneurs with tech start-ups that featured on Sunday’sShark Tank.

From Stefanie’s online sales shopping platform, Rich Gurl, Steve’s digital key access control system,Leapin and Ollie’s share ride platform La Mule, last night’s entrepreneurs were a welcome breath of fresh air, bursting with creativity and ingenuity.

Product design

We also saw another energetic and fashionable, yet environmentally conscious entrepreneur, Geoff Phillips.  

Geoff’s company Grown Sustainable Wooden Eyewear ensures all of his products are made from ethically sourced and managed forests and adheres to  the sustainable forestry management standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

If you have a great product  like Geoff’s eyewear range, you should consider protecting it with design rights, which protect the appearance of a product.

design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which give a product a unique appearance, and must be new and distinctive.

A registered design gives you, the owner, exclusive rights to commercially use it, licence or sell it.

Protecting your invention

Once again, we heard the discussions around patent protection. This time in Steve’s tech start-up pitch for his system and method for controlling access to electronic locks.

patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive, and useful.

IP infringement

Steve also spoke about infringement. Intellectual property (IP) infringement occurs when someone uses your IP without your permission.

IP infringement refers to enforcing your IP and how to avoid infringing on others’ IP. 
Enforcing your IP can include protecting your IP online, resolving disputes, going to court, IP insurance, getting help and enforcing your IP rights overseas.

For tips on effective enforcement of your IP - check out our information on enforcing your IP.

You must also make sure you don’t unintentionally infringe someone else's creativity and IP rights! Infringement can be costly so it’s best to take proactive steps, such as:

  • search before going public with a new logo or product
  • identify and maintain your IP
  • avoid the use of any material that is sourced from another person without obtaining specific permission
  • keep ownership records – any documents that prove your rights.

It’s important to note that we won’t police your IP rights or launch legal proceedings on your behalf.

Check out our information on infringing on others’ IP so you can develop a basic infringement avoidance strategy, and learn how to respond if you are accused of infringement!

Next time, more Australian’s put their businesses on the line, as the Sharks go on the attack – episode 11 of Shark Tank airs 7.30pm Sunday 26 April 2015 on TEN.