Shark Tank wrap up 9 - Get the right IP

13 April 2015

It was great to see all of the pitches on Sunday’s Shark Tank had some form of intellectual property (IP) protection.

First up, the husband and wife pair, Meray and Hani from Charli Chair, protected their idea and concept with an international patent, otherwise known as an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to ensure their vision was protected globally.

Later we saw Sophie and Kathryn from the Dinner Ladies, home delivery business, had trade marked their business name. The duo from Nexus Notes, an idea to turn university lecture notes into cash through an online business, had also trade marked their brand name.

In many cases, a business may find that they need protection under a number of different IP right categories. We saw this earlier in the season with the Scrubba wash bag.

What problem are you solving?

Looking back over this season of Shark Tank, which entrepreneurs captured your attention? Chances are, they solved a problem. Ash Newland’s Scrubba™ Bag was certainly one standout solution.

Disruptive innovation

In order to solve problems, entrepreneurs think differently and innovate. That’s why IP is crucial. If you’re solving a problem, you’re probably creating IP. The bigger the problem you solve, the more valuable the IP is for you and potential investors.

Problems can be broken down into specific needs and mirrored in the types of IP created in a solution. Let’s examine how this works with the Scrubba™ bag.





Wash clothes.

This is a deal breaker - the product must clean clothes.

The Scrubba seals clothes in a water-tight bag with a flexible internal washboard.

A valve to release enables a better cleaning action within the sealed bag.

The see through window helps traveller check when their clothes are clean.

The technology is protected under the 20 claims in this patent, and 21 claims in this patent.

Lightweight & portable

Travellers have limitations on how much weight they can carry. In very remote locations, size and weight can be a deal breaker.

The bag is made from lightweight materials, weighing less than 145 grams.

Travellers can pack less clothes because they are not dependant on washing machines.

The bag folds up into the size of a wallet.


Backpackers are on a budget. More affordable solutions tap into a wider market.

The low cost bag is affordable, and may even pay for itself through savings in laundromat fees.


The bag went through several iterations in development to find durable materials.

Genuine product

Such a stunning solution could easily attract low quality rip-offs.

Customers want the reliability of a genuine product and will look for the Scrubba brand.

The Scrubba name and logo are protected by registered trade marks.

Easy to use

The Scrubba website and instruction manual are designed for ease of use.

The distinctive packaging easily demonstrates how the product works.

Copyright automatically protects the creative expression of these elements.

A registered design protects the distinctive appearance of the product packaging.


Next time, more enterprising entrepreneurs - Shark Tank airs 7.30pm Sunday 2 May 2015 on TEN.