It may even result in a trade or service mark so memorable that it becomes a cultural icon and gives the company a formidable competitive edge. When people think of IP, they think mainly of protection through patents, trade marks and design registration. But the real value of IP is the way in which you can use it as an integral part of your business strategies – marketing and branding, capital raising, research and development or business development.
A clever business makes clever use of IP. Developing effective strategies to protect and use that property can provide an important, sustainable competitive advantage.
When three Aussie lads got together to develop the “Prawnstar®”, their hearts were firmly set on creating a world beating fishing lure. By protecting their newly created lure with IP rights they are now netting profits for their business, Primal Fishing.
Nominated for an Australian Design Award in 2002, the deceptively life-like prawn lure is the brainchild of Innisfail angler, Andrew Fogarty. An aquacultural biologist, fisherman and lure designer, Fogarty devised a lure fully equipped with several unique and innovative design features which combine in action to give Prawnstar® the fish catching edge. The company, Primal Fishing, was born when Andrew’s brother Michael and friend Paul Signitzer came on board to help commercialise the idea.
Demonstrating a good knack for business and planning, the Primal Fishing team developed an IP strategy, which incorporates patent, trade mark and design protection to protect their products and provide a level of confidence for the future security of their business.
Signitzer explains, “IP protection enables us to be both pro-active and defensive. Our design registration protects the unique look of Prawnstar®, our patent of its novel workings and our trade marks protect our branding and corporate message. IP rights give us the confidence to aggressively promote our products and our company to the market. We can also defend our market when ‘copy cat’ companies challenge our competitive position.”
Primal Fishing has trade marked a number of catchy words and phrases. Words such as “Flick-jig®” and phrases like “Be the bait®” are catchy and aptly describe the innovative lures and the ways they can be used.
“It’s all part of our business plan which incorporates our IP strategy at its very core. When you secure IP rights you have the confidence to underpin your commercial development. Our comprehensive IP plan protects various layers of our business while adding value to the overall worth of the Primal Fishing brand. By maximising our IP protection, we also heighten the potential return of profits,” explains Signitzer. Prawnstar® has proven to be a lure to capture the fish and the angler’s imagination – and the basis for a model IP business.
If you or your agency have intellectual property, creating a strategy to use, manage and protect that property may be the best investment you’ll ever make. IP Australia can help you start. It offers, free of charge, a booklet called Smart Start – Managing Intellectual Property in Your Business, which covers the basics.
Available from your local state office of IP Australia. phone 1300 65 1010