Omnio stroller entrepreneurs say IP ‘vital’ to investment success
When Markus and Samantha Warwick came up with the idea for a wearable stroller, they could never have imagined just how successful it would become.
The Ebbw Vale couple conceived the concept for a portable stroller, which could be easily folded up into a rucksack and transported, as they felt there was a gap in the market aimed at supporting parents on the go.
Their innovative thinking revolutionised the sector and proved to be enormously lucrative, with the Omnio stroller winning numerous accolades recognising its inventive features.
However, their success story could have come to a full stop without initial advice on how to protect the stroller’s unique concept and design.
Like many burgeoning businesses planning to develop and market a product, the couple realised that in order to secure investment, they first needed to ensure their product’s unique design features were protected from infringement with a patent and through intellectual property (IP).
Here are our top five reasons why start ups should ensure they are protected with IP:
With Article 50 triggered and Brexit now moving closer, the IP process could become slightly uncertain for some UK businesses over the coming years. Currently EU trade marks are valid in the UK while we remain a member of the EU, with UK businesses also having access to intellectual property rights post-Brexit. However, after Brexit, certain EU trade marks may no longer be effective in the UK. We would recommend speaking with an attorney at the earliest convenience to plan ahead for this scenario.
Protecting your business from the start is vital. Even if it is still being developed, and you feel it doesn’t warrant protection, always seek advice. Starting early limits any competitor’s ability to steal your idea and market it before you have the opportunity to. Attorneys are well placed to offer tailored advice which will protect your business and allow it to grow without being hindered.
Intellectual property can be an essential tool when planning ahead for business growth. If, further down the line, you feel your business would be strengthened through a merger, then IP is an attractive feature for a potential business partner. Obtaining IP demonstrates that a business is of a quality which is worth protecting and that you are invested in the progression of the brand.
Investing in IP at an early stage could be considered too costly by many businesses. While this is understandable in a start up, it could also prove to be a mistake down the line. Failing to invest in protecting your brand in the beginning could see you lose significantly if the product or brand is copied without IP protection later on.
Early on in business, a start up is more vulnerable to claims of infringement from other brands. Ensuring that you and your patent attorney have done your research ahead of filing an application will provide that peace of mind if the business is subject to an infringement claim.