Tutu by You: IP and small business

How Tutu by You founders used a combination of design and trade mark protection to help them on their commercialisation journey.

Tutu by You was launched in 2020 by business partners and cousins, Steph Young and Emily Murray. They wanted to create a brand for kids, and something that would bring much joy and happiness to the world.

Hear about Tutu by You and their journey to commercialisation and IP protection.

Tutu by You: IP and small business

Steph: Tutu by You started, the concept came about, maybe two years ago. We then started throwing around some ideas and we couldn't really find anything that I thought was nice, dress-up kind of things in tutus. They all seemed to be quite over the top. We thought, 'Hey, we could do something here that's quite cool and a little bit different.' The sparkle band was about creating a little bit of embellishment or a little bit of differentiation to the tutu.

Em: Our IP strategy for Tutu by You was to protect what we can. We knew we couldn't protect everything, but we knew that there were certain parts of it that we could protect. And they'd just make us feel more secure going to market. Once you're in the market, there's no coming back from that. There were so many elements and we just didn't know under which section that we were supposed to be trade marking, whether it was a design, whether it was a logo. We didn't want to register the wrong thing and for it to bite us down the track. We really felt like the investment in getting a legal firm on was going to pay dividends in the end.

Steph: We knew early on that we wanted to register the design of the sparkle band, just because we thought it was a difference in the market. So first of all, we thought the fact that that was the case, that we would be able to register it on the design register because obviously, you couldn't do a tutu and our bodysuit leotards. Again, you couldn't do that. They're just too commonplace. So we felt it was an asset to our brand to have that IP registration as part of our company, as part of our company's assets, really.

Em: Protecting our IP is so important because it's everything, right? We've worked so hard on this. We've only launched six months ago, but we've been working on this for two and a half years. There were moments where we thought, 'Do we really need to spend that money to get that protected? Is anyone going to care about us? Are they really going to try and rip us off?' You just don't know. It's a risk. You've got to take it. We're so happy with our product now. And then, taking that to market has been quite easy because it's really well-designed, really well-made. And we feel confident in taking it to market across all platforms because we have got it protected. You're really putting in a whole lot of energy and to lose all of that, it would just be beyond devastating. I would highly recommend getting a legal film to do it. It is a complicated process, but it's worth it. And if you get someone who specialises in that field, they know exactly what they're doing.