Your Ideas

June 26, 2014 at 8:28 PM

IP for Growth

I’ve invented a few products over the years and found that the successful ones needed protecting from competitors.

Intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term used for human innovations and creativity that are capable of being protected under national law and international treaties. IP includes a diverse range of commercial assets from patents for new inventions through to copyright for protected artworks.

Why register your IP?

Developing and managing IP allows a business to align and focus its activities and enhance its competitiveness. IP protection helps in:

  • preventing competitors from copying or closely imitating a business' products, technical processes, or business services
  • creating a corporate identity through a branding strategy
  • negotiating licensing, franchising, and other IP-based contractual agreements
  • increasing the market value of the business
  • acquiring venture capital and enhancing access to finance
  • obtaining access to new markets

Branding for cash

When you start a business, you may not consider your business name or logo to be of great value; you may think ‘branding’ is only of interest to larger organisations.

But from your first day of trading your distinct branding helps to establish your reputation in the market place and promote customer recognition of your products or services.

Over time your branding can become a business asset that may substantially increase the value of your business when you come to sell it at some later date.

Ask questions

I came up with a brilliant idea for reducing the accident rate caused by tourists driving on the wrong side of the road in New Zealand – or so I thought. It was in the form of simple graphical road markings designed to let drivers know what side of the road they are supposed to be on in any particular country.

I tested the idea with a number of foreign drivers and it seemed to work. They seemed to understand the road markings that I had invented. I was sure that I was onto something big. Imagine all countries taking up my idea and paying some sort of royalty to use them.

I knew that it would be a massive job to get the International Road Board to agree to my new road markings but … you never know!

So, before I spent any money with a patent and trademark attorney protecting my intellectual property on a global scale, I decided to ask a few questions with the one main customer who might take up my idea, Transit New Zealand. They are responsible for all road markings and general road safety. 

They told me that they weren’t interested for various reasons so the whole project was dead in the water from the start. At least it didn’t cost me anything.

Go to our website and for $25, download my booklet which explains this in much more detail.

If you have any questions after reading the information, go to Contact Us on our website and type in your request.

by Dean Dalton DBA
Director, DaltonPlan® Business Action Planning Limited

BUSINESS PROFILE – Here’s the Proof

By Stephen Pene
Managing Director, Diffuse Screenprinting Ltd
Tel 07 575 3045

I have been involved in the graphic design industry since 1996 working initially for a well-established publishing company in the education sector. In 2006 I was employed as a graphic designer within the Communications Team of a 50,000 membership-based organisation. In 2013 my partner Kathryn Hills and I identified an opportunity to purchase an existing business within the creative design industry.

Diffuse Screenprinting has been operating for over eight years from Mount Maunganui. We have become known as one of the most reliable and high quality screenprinters in New Zealand with an eye for detail and passion for the craft.  We offer the option of specialty inks, diverse printing methods and with the only Automatic Carousel in the greater Bay of Plenty, Diffuse can cater for any job big or small and from all industries – commercial through to fashion. We offer a large range of print based services; Screen Printing, Direct To Garment Digital Printing, Heatpress, Sublimation, Embroidery, Swing Tag and Pips, In-House Design, Garment Supply.

Lift Your Head

We worked on our business plan, including a feasibility study, with Dean just before starting the business and we were looking for a road map, key areas to focus on and a general guideline to enable us to keep our eye on the ball.

It is our first business and we didn't really know what to expect. It's been a bit more than 6 months now and we've been so busy that we didn't even have time to think ahead or plan; it’s a day-to-day operation.

Things have calmed down a little and we can now lift our heads up and work week by week now.

Dean and I are meeting every month and we work on costings and margins by using his specialised costing template and assessing and analysing the figures. Pricing properly is one of those key areas that requires constant attention and we benefit greatly from Dean’s experience.

Developing Something

We're taking on all jobs at the moment but we're really interested in developing something we've been doing quite a lot of, a fashion label.

There is good potential growth in this niche area, it's creative and very rewarding to be a part of a local business venture with staff and other people who want to have a go at it.

We have started implementing flow charts and at the moment we're building a system that enables us to keep record of past jobs so that we can refer to these quickly to retrieve any data that can make similar jobs more efficient.

Choosing Jobs

We feel that we have gained better control of our business in the last few weeks and we are looking at following a sustained mentoring programme as we keep gaining experience and developing our business.

Ultimately, we want to be able to choose the more creative and profitable jobs that we take on.

The DaltonPlan business planning course has been a very valuable experience and we have built a really good relationship with Dean. We're lucky that they moved up here to the Mount a couple of years ago!

Tags: New Zealand IP Intellectual property Growth
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